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UNIVERSITY 
OF FLORIDA 
LIBRARY 




THE GIFT OF 

Carnegie Endowment 



ki. 



Publications of the 
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 

Division of International Law 
Washington 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE OF THE 

UNITED STATES CONCERNING THE 

INDEPENDENCE OF THE LATIN-AMERICAN NATIONS 



CONTENTS 
Volume I 

PAGE 

Part I- — Communications from the United States i 

Part II. — Communications from Argentina 317 

Volume II 

Part III. — Communications from Brazil 667 

Part IV. — Communications from Central America . 869 

Part V. — Communications from Chile 893 

Part VI. — Communications from (Great) Colombia 1141 

Part VII. — Communications from France 1369 

Volume III 

Part VIII. — Communications from Great Britain 1429 

Part IX. — Communications from Mexico 1591 

Part X. — Communications from the Netherlands 1709 

Part XI. — Communications from Peru 171 7 

Part XII. — Communications from Russia 1849 

Part XIII. — Communications from Spain 1889 

Part XIV. — Communications from Uruguay 2173 



Each vx)lume contains a detailed list of the documents included therein. 



DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE 
OF THE UNITED STATES 

CONCERNING 

THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE 
LATIN-AMERICAN NATIONS 



SELECTED AND ARRANGED BY 

WILLIAM R. MANNING, Ph.D. 

Division of Latin-American Affairs 
Department of State 

Author of The Nootka Sound Controversy; of Early Diplomatic 

Relations Between the United States and Mexico, and 

Editor of Arbitration Treaties Among 

the American Nations 



VOLUME I 

CONTAINING PARTS I AND II 
DCX:L"MENTS 1-320 



NEW YORK 
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

AMERICAN BRANCH: 3o West Mw Street 
LONDON. TORONTO, MELBOURNE, AND BOMBAY 

1925 



i"...- ., 73 



COPYRIGHT 1925 

BY THE 

CARNBGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERN A.TIONAL PKA.CE 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES Of AMERICA 
AT THE RUMFORD PRESS. CONCORD, H. H. 



INTRODUCTION 

The proposal for the publication of the Diplomatic Correspondence of the 
United States concerning the Independence of the Latin-American Nations was 
made to the Director of the Division of International Law by Dr. Alejandro 
Alvarez, then and now a distinguished publicist of Chile, in a memorandum 
under date of May 12, 1916. He thus explained the need for a publication 
of this kind, suggesting both its content and the service which it would 
render to the Americas: 

One of the necessities most strongly felt by all students of the inter- 
national law and diplomatic history of our continent is the knowledge 
of the documents relative to the glorious period of the emancipation of 
the Latin-American nations. Among those documents, the foreign 
papers or papers of a diplomatic character in the files of the Department 
of State of the L^nited States, as well as the correspondence of the states- 
men who then had the honor of conducting the foreign relations of said 
country, occupy a preferent place. The importance of those precedents 
arises from the active and efficient part which the United States took in 
the movement of emancipation of the Latin-American states and from 
the careful reports which, upon the political, economical and social 
situation of these states were sent to the Department at Washington by 
the agents which the former credited to the latter. 

This of course is equivalent to saying that in the files of the Depart- 
ment of State of the United States there is a considerable quantity of 
material for the diplomatic, political and economic history of Latin 
America. 

While many of these documents had been published in "American 
State Papers, Foreign Relations" a great portion of them remain still 
unpublished and therefore are unknown to historians. 

In our estimation the Carnegie Endowment would accomplish some- 
thing of far-reaching effect, of scientific results and Pan-American 
approximation, if it should decide to pay the expenses which the printing 
of all such documents should demand, and if it should solicit the 
acquiescence of the Government of the United States of America for the 
purpose. 

The documents hereinbefore referred to are all those between 1810, 
in which the emancipation movement of the old Spanish colonies was 
initiated, and 1830, the date of the dissolution of Great Colombia; and 
in which the very recent Pan-Americanism began to die away in order 
to revive with greater momentum and energy during the latter part of 
the last century. 

In order that the work in respect to which the patronage of the 
Carnegie Endowment is requested, will fully meet the high aims which 
will be pursued by it, it will be necessary to proceed previously to a 
proper and methodic selection, arrangement and classification of the 
documents which are to be published. 



^Wt)Z^ 



VUl INTRODUCTION 

Several members of the Governing Board of the Pan American Union 
to whose consideration we have submitted the idea herein stated by us, 
not only have welcomed it with enthusiasm and with manifestations of 
approval, but they believe that in carrying it into effect, the Carnegie 
Endowment will once more win the gratitude of Latin America. 

While the work in question must comprise several volumes, we do not 
hesitate to assert that the benefits which it will render will greatly 
compensate the expenditure which its arrangement and printing may 
demand. 

The proposal was approved by the Executive Committee within the 
course of that year, and the Director was authorized "to arrange with 
William R. Manning, professor of Latin-American history in the Univer- 
sity of Texas, for the collection and preparation for publication of the 
official correspondence and documents of the United States concerning the 
emancipation of the Latin-American countries." 

Professor Manning agreed to select and arrange these documents for 
publication and came to Washington for this purpose in the fall of 1917. 
On April 6, 1917, when the United States entered the World War the De- 
partment of State, as a consequence thereof, closed its archives to the public. 
Professor Manning was therefore obliged to limit himself for some time 
to the designation for republication of pertinent documents already pub- 
lished by the United States. However, in 1922, the archives of the Depart- 
ment were opened to the enterprise and he was enabled to continue his 
investigations in the Department, where he had since 1918 been employed, 
and bring the undertaking to a close. 

It is the earnest hope of the authorities of the Carnegie Endowment that 
these three volumes containing documents of priceless value, which enable 
as they do the Latin-American countries to trace the painful steps of their 
emancipation, will be accepted by them as an evidence of the friendly feeling 
of the people of the United States of North America; and that in carrying 
the project into effect the Endowment has accomplished, to quote Dr. 
Alvarez, "something of far-reaching effect, of scientific results and Pan- 
American approximation " — something for which it really will, as prophesied 
by members of the Governing Board of the Pan American Union, "win the 
gratitude of Latin America." 

James Brown Scott. 
Washington, D. C, 

May ij, JQ25. 



PREFACE 

An eflort has been made to include in this collection all of the more 
important diplomatic correspondence of the United States regarding the 
independence of the Latin-American countries. Very few documents earlier 
than 1810 and none later than 1830, with a single exception which reviews 
events of the latter year, have been selected. Geographically the compila- 
tion will be found to include correspondence not only with the Latin-Ameri- 
can countries whose independence was an accomplished fact before the latter 
date and with which frequent communication had been established but also 
with certain European countries where the Latin-American emancipation 
movement elicited especial interest. 

The documents which have not previously been published, comprising 
by far the largest portion, have been copied from the original manuscripts 
preserved in the archives of the Department of State of the United States. 
In the selection of the pertinent documents and the pertinent portions of 
documents only partially devoted to the subject about four hundred and 
thirty bound volumes of manuscripts have been carefully examined. For 
various reasons, chiefly because of inevitable human limitations, it is 
probable that some important documents have been overlooked. In a few 
instances series of papers which there is good reason to believe should have 
reached the Department have not been found. Some such gaps are said 
to be possibly attributable to the destruction of portions of the archives in 
connection with the brief occupation of Washington by British troops during 
the second war with Great Britain, although in this connection it should be 
stated, concerning the most important missing series, that, in accordance 
with instructions of President Monroe, Daniel Brent, the Chief Clerk, on 
September 26, 1818,' forwarded to Joel Roberts Poinsett, his manuscript 
Journal No. i, together with all the letters received from him which were 
then in the files of the Department of State. 

To prosecute this exploration of the archives a fortuitous circumstance 
made it possible for the editor to avail himself of the services of Mr. T. John 
Newton, who had for forty-eight years been connected with the Bureau of 
Indexes and Archives of the Department of State and is more familiar than 
any other person with the older portion of the archives. He had, in accord 
with the Civil Service pension rules, retired from the Departmental service 
less than a month before this work was begun. For eleven months he de- 

' See letter of this date from Daniel Brent to Joel Roberts Poinsett, MS. Domestic Letters, 
XVII, p. 212. 



X PREFACE 

voted his time to it; and much of the credit for its thoroughness is due to 
him. In cases of doubt whether a particular paper or portion of a pap)er 
should or should not be included, and when he could not conveniently con- 
sult the editor, it was his practice to err, if at all. on the side of inclusion. 
In reviewing and arranging the transcripts for publication the editor found 
textual reference to many other papers and had them added. And although 
he has rejected a considerable number of documents and portions of docu- 
ments believed not to be sufficiently apropos, there are still to be found some 
documents and many brief portions of documents whose pertinency will be 
questioned. This is due to the fact that the editor also has striven to err, 
when he might err in this regard, on the side of inclusion. In some cases 
wholly unrelated sentences or brief paragraphs have been permitted to stand 
merely because it was considered unnecessary or undesirable to break the 
continuity of the papers by such small omissions. A few entire documents 
which are only remotely relevant have been allowed to remain because of 
their inherent interest. 

The editor has permitted most of the idiosyncrasies of the writers of these 
documents to stand, making correction only in case of manifest and in- 
advertent error, where the correction could in nowise affect the sense. Strict 
stylists will be able to discover not only blunders but inconsistencies in spelling, 
grammatical construction, punctuation, and capitalization throughout the 
volumes. A casual examination will reveal the fact that to have dressed all 
of the documents in comely State Department style would have required a 
practical rewriting of many of them, especially those coming from consular 
appointees, who at this early period were frequently selected from the few 
available, usually not highly educated, practical merchants already resident 
in the communities to which they were accredited. Some of the special 
agents and even of the regular diplomatic appointees will also be seen to 
have been far from perfect in matters of grammar and spelling. 

Neither has an attempt been made to eliminate all indiscreet or undiplo- 
matic language, which if published contemporaneously might have given 
just offense to foreign governments or officials or have proved embarrassing 
to the writers, although some obviously improper statements have been 
deleted where their deletion could not materially alter the sense of the 
documents. The latest of the papers being nearly a hundred years old, it is 
believed that none of the governments mentioned or the living relatives of 
their officials or of the writers will take offense at the publication now of 
indiscretions due to the passions or prejudices of a century ago. Their 
retention enables the reader of the present better to get into the atmosphere 
of the past and therefore enhances the historical value of the publication. 

The documents printed in the old American State Papers, Foreign Relations 
which are pertinent to the present collection have been reprinted not only 
because of the desire to have the collection complete in itself, or as nearly so 



PREFACE XI 

as it has been feasible to make it, but also because the former publication, 
being out of print, is rather inaccessible to the public at large. Some of the 
documents will also be found in other publications, especially contemporary 
periodicals, in Congressional documents, and the printed correspondence of 
officials who drafted the papers, and a few have been quoted in diplomatic 
and historical treatises. Few citations have been made, however, except to 
American State Papers, Foreign Relations, and to the volumes of manuscripts 
in the archives of the Department of State. Since the documents contained 
in the publication named were also copied from the archives of the Depart- 
ment of State, especially since they were officially prepared and printed, 
much labor in preparing the manuscript for the present publication, and some 
space in the publication, could have been saved by omitting all citations of 
sources except this prefatory explanation ; but in order to facilitate the use of 
the present publication as a work of reference it has been considered worth 
while to incur the additional expense involved in citing individually the 
source of each document. 

In some of the footnotes will be found brief reviews of the diplomatic 
careers of the more important writers or recipients of the documents to which 
they are appended. These reviews are taken from the Register of the De- 
partment of State printed in March 1874 of which Part II, entitled "Histori- 
cal Register," contains the records, from 1789 to that date, of the 
Department's officials, its more important diplomatic agents to foreign 
countries, and the heads of foreign missions in the United States. The in- 
tention has been to append the record to the document where the name 
of the individual concerned first appears. 

It will be observed that the documents have been arranged in fourteen 
parts, each designated by the name of the country in which the papers 
included therein originated. Part I, entitled "Communications from the 
United States," contains not only the Department of State's instructions to 
its representatives in foreign countries but also its notes to the representatives 
in Washington from those countries; and in addition to these, which alone 
are ordinarily understood to be included in the designation "diplomatic 
communications from the United States", there have also been included the 
more significant messages or portions thereof from the President of the 
United States to Congress, commenting upon the Latin-American struggle 
for independence, and a few such papers originating in Congress. The 
communications from foreign countries are arranged in alphabetical order, 
according to the countries of origin, and the Part designated by the name of 
each contains not only despatches from the representatives of the United 
States in that country and correspondence between them and the officials of 
that country, but also the notes from that country's representatives in 
Washington to the Department of State. 

For access to the archives, and for the provision of space and other con- 



Xll 



PREFACE 



veniences for carrying on the work, acknowledgments are due to the late 
Mr. Alvey A. Adee, Second Assistant Secretary of the Department, to the 
late Dr. Gaillard Hunt, Chief of the Division of Publications, and to Mr. 
David A. Salmon, Chief of the Bureau of Indexes and Archives. For per- 
mission to supervise the work while continuing his regular departmental 
duties the editor's personal acknowledgments are due to Mr. Francis White, 
Chief of the Division of Latin-American Affairs, and to the former Second 
Assistant Secretary. 

William R. Manning. 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I 
Part I. — Communications from the United States 



From 



Robert Smith, Sec. 
of State 

Same 
Same 



Same 
5 Same 

Same 

Same 
Same 

Same 



James Monroe, Sec. of 
State 



Same 

Same 
Same 

Same 

Same 
Same 
Same 



To 



Gen. John Armstrong, 
U. S. Minister to 
France 

Same 

Thomas Sumter, Jr., 
U. S. Minister to Por- 
tuguese Court in 
Brazil 

William Pinkney, U. S. 
Minister to Great 
Britain 

Joel Roberts Poinsett, ap- 
pointed Special Agent 
of the U. S. to South 
America 

Gen. John Armstrong, 
U. S. Minister to 
France 

Same 

William Shaler, U. S. 
Agent for Seamen and 
Commerce, Habana 

William Pinkney, U. S. 
Minister to Great 
Britain 

Joel Roberts Poinsett, 
U. S. Consul General 
at Buenos Aires 

John Quincy Adams, 
U. S. Minister to 
Russia 

Joel Barlow, U. S. Minis- 
ter to France 

Samuel L. Mitchell, U. S. 
Representative from 
New York 

Talisfero de Orea, Com- 
missioner of Vene- 
zuela to the U. S. 

Alexander Scott, U. S. 
Agent to Caracas 

M. Palacio, Agent of 
Cartagena to the U. S. 

John Quincy Adams, U. S. 
Minister to Great 
Britain 



Date 



April 27, 1809 

May I, 1809 
Aug. I, 1809 

June 13, 1810 
June 28, 1810 

Nov. I, 1810 

Nov. 2, 1810 
Nov. 6, 1 810 

Jan. 22, 181 1 

April 30, 181 1 

Nov. 23, 181 1 

Nov. 27, 181 1 
Dec. 9, 1 81 1 

Dec. 19, 181 1 

May 14, 1812 
Dec. 29, 1 81 2 
Dec. 10, 1815 



Page 



13 

14 
16 

17 



XVI LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I 

Part I. — Communications from the United States {Continued) 



Doc. 
No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


i8 


James Monroe, Sec. 
of State 


Luis de Onis, Spanish 
Minister to the U. S. 


Jan. 19, 1816 


19 


19 


Same 


John Quincy Adams, 
U. S. Minister to 
Great Britain 


Feb. 2, 1816 


21 


20 


Same 


Levett Harris, U. S. 
Charge d'Affaires in 
Russia 


Feb. 2, 1816 


22 


21 


Same 


William Eustis, U. S. 
Minister to the 
Netherlands 


Feb. 2, 1816 


23 


22 


Same 


Luis de Onis, Spanish 
Minister to the U. S. 


Feb. 21, 1816 


25 


23 


Same 


George W. Erving, ap- 
pointed U. S. Minister 
to Spain 


March 11, 1816 


24 


24 


Same 


Luis de Onis, Spanish 
Minister to the U. S. 


March 13, 1816 


25 


25 


Same 


Same 


March 20, 18 16 


26 


26 


Same 


Christopher Hughes, Jr., 
U. S. Special Agent to 
Cartagena 


March 25, 1816 


27 


27 


Same 


Albert Gallatin, U. S. 
Minister to France 


April 15, 1816 


29 


28 


Same 


William Pinkney, U. S. 
Minister to Russia 


May 10, 1 816 


29 


29 


Same 


Same 


May 27, 1816 


30 


30 


Same 


Jose Rademaker, Portu- 
guese Charge d'Affaires 
in the U. S. 


June 5, 1816 


31 


31 


Same 


Luis de Onis, Spanish 
Minister to the U.S. 


June 10, 1816 


31 


32 


Same 


George W. Erving, U. S. 
Minister to Spain 


July 20, 1816 


35 


33 


James Monroe, Sec. 
of State 


Luis de Onis, Spanish 
Minister to the U. S. 


July 30, 1816 


36 


34 


Richard Rush, Sec. of 
State, ad interitn 


Same 


March 28, 181 7 


37 


35 


Same 


Same 


April 22, 1817 


38 


36 


Same 


Charles Morris, Com- 
mander of U. S. 
Frigate Congress 


April 25, 1817 


38 


37 


James Monroe, Presi- 
dent of the U. S. 


Joel R. Poinsett of 
Charleston, South 
Carolina 


April 25, 181 7 


39 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I XVll 

Part I. — Communications from the United States (Continued) 



Doc. 
No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


38 


Richard Rush, Sec. of 
State, ad interim 


Jose Correa de Serra, 
Portuguese-Brazilian 
Minister to the U. S. 


May 28, 181 7 


40 


39 


Same 


Thomas Sumter, Jr., 
U. S. Minister to Por- 
tuguese Court in Brazil 


July 18, 1817 


41 


40 


Same 


Caesar A. Rodney and 
John Graham, Special 
Commissioners of the 
U. S. to South America 


July 18, 18x7 


42 


41 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


John B. Prevost, Special 
Agent of the U. S. to 
Buenos Aires, Chile and 
Peru 


Sept. 29, 1817 


45 


42 


Same 


George W. Erving, U. S. 
Minister to Spain 


Nov. II, 1817 


46 


43 


Same 


Thomas Sumter, U. S. 
Minister to Portuguese 
Court in Brazil 


Nov. 19, 181 7 


47 


44 


Same 


Caesar A. Rodney, John 
Graham and Theodo- 
rick Bland, Special 
Commissioners of the 
U. S. to South America 


Nov. 21, 1817 


47 


45 


James Monroe, Presi- 
dent of the U. S. 


Message to Congress 


Dec. 2, 1817 


50 


46 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


G. Hyde de Neuville, 
French Minister to 
the U. S. 


Dec. 5, 1817 


51 


47 


Same 


Thomas Sumter, U. S. 
Minister to Portuguese 
Court in Brazil 


Dec. 30, 1817 


52 


48 


Same 


G. Hyde de Neuville, 
French Minister to the 
U.S. 


Jan. 27, 1818 


53 


49 


Same 


Baptis Irvine, Special 
Agentof theU.S. to 
Venezuela 


Jan. 31, 1818 


55 


50 


Same 


President Monroe, for 
transmission to House 
of Representatives 


March 25, 181 8 


59 


51 


Same 


Manuel H. de Aguirre, 
Argentine Agent at 
Washington 


April II, 1 81 8 


60 


52 


Same 


George W. Erving, U. S. 
Minister to Spain 


April 20, 1 81 8 


61 


53 


Same 


Luis de Onis, Spanish 
Minister to the U. S. 


April 22, 1818 


62 



XVIU LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I 

Part I. — Communications from the United States {Continued) 



Doc. 
No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


54 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


Luis de Onis, Spanish 
-Minister to the U. S. 


April 25, 1 81 8 


63 


55 


Same 


Albert Gallatin, U. S. 
Minister to France 


May 19, 1 81 8 


63 


56 


Same 


Richard Rush, U. S. 
Minister to Great 
Britain 


May 20, 1818 


66 


57 


Same 


Luis de Onis, Spanish 
Minister to the U. S. 


June 2, 1818 


70 


58 


Same 


George W. Campbell, 
U. S. Minister to 
Russia 


June 28, 1818 


71 


59 


Same 


Richard Rush, U. S. 
Minister to Great 
Britain 


July 30, 1818 


74 


60 


Same 


Same 


Aug. 15, 1 81 8 


74 


61 


Same 


Albert Gallatin, U. S. 
Minister to France 


Aug. 20, 1 81 8 


75 


62 


Same 


George W. Campbell, 
U. S. Minister to Russia 


Aug. 20, 181 8 


75 


63 


Same 


Luis de Onis, Spanish 
Minister to the U. S. 


Aug. 24, 1818 


75 


64 


Same 


Manuel H. de Aguirre, 
Argentine Agent at 
Washington 


Aug. 27, 1818 


76 


65 


Same 


Thomas Sumter, Jr., U. S. 
Minister to the Portu- 
guese Court in Brazil 


Aug. 27, 1818 


79 


66 


Same 


Joel R. Poinsett, ex-Con- 
sul General of the U. S. 
at Buenos Aires 


Oct. 23, 1818 


79 


67 


Same 


Luis de Onis, Spanish 
Minister to the U. S. 


Oct. 31, 1818 


80 


68 


President Monroe 


Message to Congress 


Nov. 16, i8i8 


81 


69 


John Quincy Adams,^_^ 
Sec. of State "^ 


Lino de Clemente, Agent 
of Venezuela in the 
U. S. 


Dec. 16, 1818 


82 


70 


Same 


David C. de Forest, 
Agent of the United 
Provinces of South 
America at Georgetown 


Dec. 31, 1818 


82 


71 


Same 


RichardRush, U.S. Min- 
ister to Great Britain 


Jan. I, 1819 


85 


72 


Same 


David C. de Forest, Agent 
of the United Provinces 
of South America at 
Georgetown 


Same 


88 


73 


Same 


President James Monroe 


Jan. 28, 1819 


89 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I xix 

Part I. — Communications from the United States (Continued) 



Doc. 

No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


74 


President James 
Monroe 


U. S. House of Repre- 
sentatives 


Jan. 29, 1819; 
communicated 
Jan. 30, 1819 


95 


75 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State. 


John Forsyth, U. S. Min- 
ister to Spain 


March 8, 1819 


95 


76 


Same 


Same 


March 16, 18 19 


96 


77 


Same 


Luis de Onis, Spanish 
Minister to the U. S. 


.'^pril 7, 1819 


97 


78 


Same 


John Graham, U. S. Min- 
ister to Portuguese 
Court in Brazil 


April 24, 1819 


98 


79 


Same ^ 


Smith Thompson, Sec. 
of the Navy 


May 20, 1819 


lOI 


80 


Same 


George W. Campbell, 
U. S. Minister to Russia 


June 3, 1819 


107 


81 


Same 


William Lowndes, Chair- 
man, Foreign Relations 
Committee, U. S. House 
of Representatives 


Dec. 21, 1819 


108 


82 


Same 


Gen. Francisco Dionisio 
Vives, Spanish Minister 
to the U. S. 


April 21, 1820 


no 


83 


Same 


Same 


May 3, 1820 


lit 


84 


Same 


Same 


May 6, 1820 


115 


85 


Same 


Same 


May 8, 1820 


116 


86 


President James 
Monroe 


U. S. House of Repre- 
sentatives 


May 9, 1820 


124 


87 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State — ; 


Charles S. Todd, Confi- 
dential Agent of the 
U. S. to Colombia 


June 5, 1820 


126 


88 


Same 


John M. Forbes, Special 
Agent of the U. S. to 
Chile or Buenos Aires 


July 5, 1820 


130 


89 


Same 


Same 


July 7, 1820 


133 


90 


Same 


John B. Prevost, Special 
Agent of the U. S. to 
Buenos Aires, Chile 
and Peru 


July 10, 1820 


134 


91 


Same 


Henry Hill, Vice Consul 
of the U. S. at Valpa- 
raiso 


Jul\- 1 1, 1820 


138 


92 


Same 


John M. Forbes, Special 
Agent of the U. S. to 
Chile or Buenos Aires 


July II, 1820 


138 


93 


Same 


Same 


July 12, 1820 


140 



XX LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I 

Part I. — Communications from the United States (Continued) 



Doc. 
No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


94 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


John James Appleton, 
U. S. Charge d'Affaires 
at Rio de Janeiro 


Sept. 30, 1820 


141 


95 


President James 
Monroe 


Message to Congress 


Nov. 15, 1820 


142 


96 


Same 


Same 


Dec. 3, 1821; 
communicated 
Dec. 5, 1821 


143 


97 


John Quincy Adams, ^ 
Sec. of State 


Manuel Torres, Colom- 
bian Agent in the U. S. 


Jan. 18, 1822 


144 


98 


Same 


Charles S. Todd, Confi- 
dential Agent of the 
U. S. to Colombia 


Jan. 28, 1822 


144 


99 


Daniel Brent, Chief 
Clerk, Dept. of State 


John M. Forbes, Agent of 
U. S. at Buenos Aires 


Feb. 19, 1822 


145 


100 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


President James Monroe 


March 7, 1822 


145 


lOI 


President James 
Monroe 


U. S. House of Repre- 
sentatives 


March 8, 1822; 
communicated 
March 8 and 
April 26, 1822 


146 


102 


Report of Committee 
on Foreign Affairs of 
the U. S. House of 
Representatives 


Congress of the U. S. 


March 19, 1822 


148 


103 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


Joaquin de Anduaga, 
Spanish Minister to 
the U. S. 


April 6, 1822 


156 


104 


Same 


President James Monroe 


April 25, 1822 


158 


105 


President James 
Monroe 


U. S. Senate 


April 26, 1822 


158 


106 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


Richard Rush, U. S. Min- 
ister to Great Britain 


May 13, 1822 


158 


107 


Same 


David C. de Forest of 
New Haven, Conn. 


May 23, 1822 


159 


108 


Same ^ 


Manuel Torres, Colom- 
bian Agent in the U. S. 


May 2S, 1822 


160 


109 


Same 


Col. Charles S. Todd, 
Confidential Agent of 
the U. S. to Colombia 


July 2, 1822 


160 


no 


Same 


Pedro Gual, Sec. of State 
for Foreign Affairs of 
Colombia 


Julys, 1822 


161 


III 


Same 


Richard Rush, U. S. Min- 
ister to Great Britain 


July 24, 1822 


162 


112 


President James 
Monroe 


Message to Congress, 
communicated to 
Senate 


Dec. 3, 1822 


162 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I XXI 

Part I. — Communications from the United States (Continued) 



Doc. 
No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


113 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


John Forsyth, U. S. 
Minister to Spain 


Jan. 3, 1823 


163 


114 


President James 
Monroe 


U. S. Senate 


Feb. 25, 1823; 
communicated 
Feb. 26, 1823 


164 


115 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


Robert K. Lowry, 
appointed U. S. Consul 
at La Guayra 


April II, 1823 


165 


116 


Same 


Hugh Nelson, U. S. 
Minister to Spain 


April 28, 1823 


166 


117 


Same 


Thomas Randall, Special 
Agent of the U. S. in 
Cuba 


April 29, 1823 


185 


118 


Same 


Caesar A. Rodney, ap- 
pointed U. S. Minister 
to Buenos Aires 


May 17, 1823 


186 


119 


Same 


Richard C. Anderson, 
appointed U. S. Minis- 
ter to Colombia 


May 27, 1823 


192 


120 


Same 


Jose Maria Salazar, Co- 
lombian Minister to 
the U. S. 


Aug. 5, 1823 


209 


121 


Same 


Baron de Tuyll, Russian 
Minister to the U. S. 


Nov. 15, 1823 


209 


122 


Same 


Richard Rush, U. S. 
Minister to Great 
Britain 


Nov. 29, 1823 


2x0 


123 


Same 


Heman Allen, appointed 
U. S. Minister to Chile 


Nov. 30, 1823 


213 


124 


Same 


Richard Rush, U. S. Min- 
ister to Great Britain 


Nov. 30, 1823 


213 


125 


President James 
Monroe 


Message to Congress, 
communicated to 
Senate 


Dec. 2, 1823 


216 


126 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


Jose Maria Salazar, 
Colombian Minister to 
the U. S. 


Dec. 5, 1823 


218 


127 


Same 


Minister of State and 
Foreign Relations of 
Peru 


Dec. 12, 1823 


219 


128 


Same 


James Brown, appointed 
U. S. Minister to France 


Dec. 2i, 1823 


221 


129 


President Janaes 
Monroe 


U. S. House of Represent- 
atives 


Jan. 12, 1824 


221 


130 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


Joaquin Barrozo Pereira, 
Portuguese Charge 
d'Affaires in the U. S. 


June 9, 1824 


222 



XXll LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I 

Part I. — Communications from the United States (Continued) 



Doc. 

No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


131 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


Richard C. Anderson, 
U. S. Minister to 
Colombia 


July — , 1824 


223 


132 


Same _ 


Jose Maria Salazar, 
Colombian Minister to 
the U. S. 


Aug. 6, 1824 


224 


133 


Daniel Brent, Sec. of 
State ad interim 


Hilario de Rivas y Sal- 
mon, Spanish Charge 
d'Affaires in the, U. S. 


Sept. 22, 1824 


226 


134 


President James 
Monroe 


Message to Congress 


Dec. 7, 1824 


227 


135 


Henry Clay, Sec. of 
State 


Joel R. Poinsett, ap- 
pointed U. S. Minister 
to Mexico 


March 26, 1825 


229 


136 


Same 


Jose Silvestre Rebello, 
Brazilian Charge 
d'Affaires in the U. S. 


April 13, 1825 


233 


137 


Same 


John M. Forbes, U. S. 
Charge d'Affaires at 
Buenos Aires 


April 14, 1825 


235 


138 


Same 


Condy Raguet, appointed 
U. S. Charge d'Affaires 
in Brazil 


April 14, 1825 


237 


139 


Same 


William Miller, appointed 
U. S. Charge d'Affaires 
to the United Provinces 
of the Centre of America 


April 22, 1825 


239 


140 


Same 


Alexander H. Everett, 
U. S. Minister to Spain 


April 27, 1825 


242 


141 


Same 


Henry Middleton, U. S. 
Minister to Russia 


May 10, 1825 


244 


142 


Same 


Rufus King, appointed 
U. S. Minister to Great 
Britain 


May II, 1825 


250 


J 43 


Same 


James Brown, U. S. Min- 
ister to France 


May 13, 1825 


251 


144 


Daniel Brent, Acting 
Sec. of State 


Baron de Tuyll, Russian 
Minister to the U. S. 


May 23, 1825 


252 


145 


Henry Clay, Sec. of 
State 


Richard C. Anderson, 
'^ U. S. Minister to 
Colombia 


Sept. 16, 1825 


252 


146 


Same 


Rufus King, U. S. Minis- 
ter to Great Britain 


Oct. 17, 1825 


254 


147 
148 


Same 
Same 


James Brown, U. S. Min- 
ister to France 

Rufus King, U. S. Minis- 
ter to Great Britain 


Oct. 25, 1825 
Oct. 26, 1825 


260 
261 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I xxiii 

Part I. — Communications from the United States (Contraued) 



From 



To 



Date 



Page 



Henry Clay, Sec. of 
State 



Same 

Same 
Same 
Same 

Same 



President John Quincy 
Adams 

Henry Clay, Sec. of 
State 



Same 
Same 
Same 

Same 

Same 
Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 
Same 

Same 



Hilario de Rivas y Salmon, 
Si)anish Charge 
d 'Affaires in the U. S. 

Jose Maria Salazar, 
Colombian Minister to 
the U. S. 

Baron de Tuyll, Russian 
Minister to the U. S. 

Henry Middleton, U. S. 
Minister to Russia 

John M. Forbes, U. S. 
Charge d 'Affaires at 
Buenos Aires 

U. S. House of Repre- 
sentatives 

Same 



Jose Maria Salazar, 
Colombian Minister to 
the U. S. 

Alexander H. Everett, 
U. S. Minister to Spain 

Henry Middleton, U. S. 
Minister to Russia 

Baron de Maltitz, Rus- 
sian Charge d'Affaires 
in the U. S. 

Jose Maria Salazar, 

Colombian Minister to 
the U. S. 

Same 

James Cooley, appointed 
U. S. Charge d'Affaires 
in Peru 

Baron de Maltitz, Rus- 
sian Charge d'Affaires 
in the U. S. 

Jose Marfa Salazar, 
Colombian Minister to 
the U. S. 

Same 

Francisco Dionisio X'ives, 
Governor and Captain 
General of Cuba 

Daniel P. Cook, U. S. 
Confidential Agent to 
Cuba 



Dec. 15, 1825 

Dec. 20, 1825 

Dec. 26, 1825 
Dec. 26, 1825 
Jan. 9, 1826 

March 29, 1826 
March 30, 1826 
April II, 1826 

April 13, 1826 
April 21, 1826 
May 26, 1826 

Oct. 25, 1826 

Oct. 31, 1826 
Nov. 6, 1826 

Dec. 23, 1826 

Jan. 9, 1827 

Jan. 15, 1827 
Feb. 12, 1827 

March 12, 1827 



263 

263 

264 
265 
267 

268 
269 
270 

271 
273 
274 

275 

276 
277 

278 
279 

280 

281 

282 



XXIV LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I 

Part I. — Communications from the United States (Continued) 



Doc. 

No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


i68 


Henry Clay, Sec. of 
State 


Francisco Dionisio Vives, 
Governor and Captain 
General of Cuba 


March 14, 1827 


284 


169 


Same 


Jose Maria Salazar, 
Colombian Minister 
to the U. S. 


March 20, 1827 


285 


170 


Same 


Pablo Obregon, Mexican 
Minister to the U. S. 


May 21, 1827 


285 


171 


Same 


Hilario de Rivas y Sal- 
mon, Spanish Charge 
d'Affaires in the U. S. 


June 9, 1827 


286 


172 


Same 


Chevalier Francisco Ta- 
con, Spanish Minister 
Resident to the U, S. 


Oct. 31, 1827 


289 


173 


Same 


JohnM.Forbes, U. S. 
Charge d'Affaires at 
Buenos Aires 


Jan. 3, 1828 


292 


174 


Same 


J. Rafael Revenga, Co- 
lombian Secretary of 
State for Foreign 
Relations 


Jan. 30, 1828 


294 


175 


Same 


Francisco Tacon, Spanish 
Minister Resident to 
the U. S. 


April II, 1828 


295 


176 


Same 


Pablo Obregon, Mexican 
Minister to the U. S. 


May I, 1828 


296 


177 


Daniel Brent, Chief 
Clerkof the Dept. 
of State 


Francisco Tacon, Spanish 
Minister Resident to 
the U. S. 


Aug. 2, 1828 


298 


178 


Same 


Same 


Sept. 20, 1828 


298 


179 


Henry Clay, Sec. of 
State 


Alejandro Valez, Colom- 
bian Charge d'Affaires 
in the U. S. 


Oct. 14, 1828 


299 


180 


Same 


F. I. Mariategui, Minister 
of P'oreign Affairs of 
Peru 


Dec. 30, 1828 


300 


181 


Same 


Samuel Larned, U. S. 
Charge d'Affaires in 
Peru 


Jan. I, 1829 


300 


182 


Same 


Xavier de Medina, Co- 
lombian Consul General 
at New York 


Feb. 9, 1829 


302 


183 


Martin Van Buren, Sec. 
of State 


Same 


May 6, 1829 


303 


184 


Same 


Joaquin Campino, Chil- 
ean Minister to the 
U.S. 


May 26, 1829 


304 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I XXV 

Part I. — Communications from the United States (Continued) 



Doc. 
No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


185 


Martin Van Buren, 
Sec. of State 


Cornelius P. Van Ness, 
appointed U. S. Minis- 
ter to Spain 


Oct. 2, 1829 


305 


186 


Same 


Anthony Butler, ap- 
pointed U. S. Charge 
d'Affairesin Mexico 


Oct. 16, 1829 


309 


187 


Same 


Cornelius P. Van Ness, 
U. S. Minister to Spain 


Oct. 13, 1830 


312 


188 


Same 


John Hamm, appointed 
U.S. Charge d'Affaires 
in Chile 


Oct. 15, 1830 


314 



Part II. — -Communications from Argentina 



Doc. 
No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


189 


Governing Junta of the 
Provinces of the Rio 
de la Plata 


President James Madison 


Feb. II, 1811 


319 


-A 190 


Same 


Same 


Feb. 13, 181 1 


320 


5^191 


Cornelio de Saavedra, 
President of the Gov- 
erning Junta of the 
Provinces of the Rio 
de la Plata, Domingo 
Matheu and 1 1 others 


Same 


June 6, 181 1 


321 


^ '92 


Cornelio de Saavedra, 
President of the Gov- 
erning Junta of the 
Provinces of the Rio 
de la Plata 


Same 


June 26, 181 1 


322 


193 


W. G. Miller, U. S. Con- 
sul at Buenos Aires 


James Monroe, Sec. of 
State 


April 30, 1812 


322 


194 


Same 


Same 


July 16, 1812 


326 


195 


Same 


Same 


Aug. 10, 1812 


330 


196 


Same 


Same 


Aug. 18, 1812 


331 


\ 197 


Constituted Assembly 
of United Provinces 
of the Rio de la Plata 


President James Madison 


July 21, 1813 


332 


. ^198 


W.G.Miller, U.S. Con- 
sul at Buenos Aires 


James Monroe, Sec. of 
State 


Aug. I, 1813 


333 


>\I99 


Gervasio Antonio de 
Posadas, Supreme 
Director of the Unit- 
ed Provinces of the 
Rio de la Plata 


President James Madison 


March 9, 18 14 


334 


v 200 


Same 


Same 


Same 


334 



XXVI LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I 

Part II.— Communications from Argentina (Continued) 



Doc. 
No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


_^ if 201 


Joel Roberts Poinsett, 
U. S. Consul General 
at Buenos Aires 


James Monroe, Sec. of 
State 


June 14, 1814 


335 


„— 202 


Thomas Lloyd Halsey, 
U. S. Consul at 
Buenos Aires 


Same 


Feb. II, 1815 


336 


203 


Same 


Same 


May 5, 1815 


337 


*'^04 


Ignacio Alvarez, Su- 
preme Director of the 
United Provinces of 
the Rio de la Plata 


Thomas Lloyd Halsey, 
Consul of the U. S. at 
Buenos Aires 


May 10, 1815 


339 


•^205 


Thomas Lloyd Halsey, 
U. S. Consul at 
Buenos Aires 


James Monroe, Sec. of 
State 


July 17, 1815 


340 


206 


Ignacio Alvarez, Su- 
preme Director of 
the United Provinces 
of the Rio de la Plata 


President James Madison 


Jan. 16, 1816 


341 


207 


Thomas Lloyd Halsey, 
U. S. Consul at 
Buenos Aires 


James Monroe, Sec. of 
State 


April 20, 1816 


342 


208 


Same 


Same 


July 3, 1816 


343 


•hztig 


Same 


Same 


July 24, 1816 


345 


^ 210 


Same 


Same 


Aug. 20, 1816 


346 


•—^11 


Juan Martin de Pueyr- 
redon. Supreme Di- 
rector of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 


President James Madison 


Jan. I, 1817 


346 


212 


Thomas Lloyd Halsey, 
U. S. Consul at 
Buenos Aires 


James Monroe, Sec. of 
State 


Jan. 30, 1817 


347 


^213 


Juan Martin de Pueyr- 
redon. Supreme Di- 
rector of the United 
Provinces of South 


President James Madison 


Jan. 31, 1817 


349 


/* 


America 










Thomas Lloyd Halsey, 
U. S. Consul at 
Buenos Aires 


James Monroe, Sec. of 
State 


March 3, 181 7 


349 


^ 215 


Juan Martin de Pueyr- 
redon, Supreme Di- 
rector of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 


President James Monroe 


March 5, 181 7 


350 


^•2,6 


Thomas Lloyd Halsey, 
U. S. Consul at 
Buenos Aires 


Sec. of State of the U. S. 


March 26, 181 7 


351 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I 

Part II. — Communications from Argentina (Continued) 



xxvii 



Doc. 
No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


217 


Juan Martin de Pueyr- 
redon, Supreme Di- 
rector of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 


Commission to Manuel 
Hermenegildo de 
Aguirre 


March 28, 181 7 


351 


218 


Don Jose Francisco de 
San Martin, General 
of the Army of the 
Andes 


President James Monroe 


April I, 1817 


352 


219 


Juan Martin de Pueyr- 
redon, Supreme Di- 
rector of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 


Same 


April 28, 181 7 


353 


-Mi20 


W. G. D. VVorthington, 
Special Agent of the 
U. S. to Buenos 
Aires, Chile and 
Peru 


John Quincy Adams, Sec. 
of State 


Oct. I, 1817 


354 


221 


Same 


Same 


Oct. 4, 1817 


355 


222 


Same 


Gregorio Tagle, Sec. of 
State of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 


Oct. 6, 1817 


356 


— 223 


Manuel H. de Aguirre, 
Agent of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 


President James Monroe 


Oct. 29, 1817 


357 


--224 


W. G. D. Worthington, 
Special Agent of the 
U. S. to Buenos Aires, 
Chile and Peru 


Gregorio Tagle, Sec. of 
State of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 


Oct. 30, 1817 


358 


225 


Manuel H. de Aguirre, 
Agent of the United 
Provinces of South 
America to the U. S. 


John Quincy Adams, Sec. 
of State 


Dec. 16, 1817 


361 


226 


Same 


Same 


Dec. 26, 1 81 7 


363 


227 


Same 


Same 


Dec. 29, 1 81 7 


366 


228 


Same 


Same 


Jan. 6, 1818 


367 


—229 


W. G. D. Worthington, 
Special Agent of the 
U. S. to Buenos Aires, 
Chile and Peru 


Same 


Jan. ID, 1818 


368 


230 


Juan Martin de Pueyr- 
redon. Supreme Di- 
rector of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 


President James Monroe 


Jan. 14, I8l8 


370 



XXVllI LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I 

Part II. — Communications from Argentina (Continued) 



Doc. 

No. 



231 



232 



233 



234 



235 



236 
237 



238 



239 



240 
.241 



242 



243 



From 



W. G. D. Worthington, 
Special Agent of the 
U. S. to Buenos Aires, 
Chile and Peru 

Manuel H. de Aguirre, 
Agent of the United 
Provinces of South 
America to the 
U. S. 

W. G. D. Worthington, 
Special Agent of the 
U. S. to Buenos 
Aires, Chile and 
Peru 

Juan Martin de Pueyr- 
redon, Supreme Di- 
rector of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 

Manuel H. de Aguirre, 
Agent of the United 
Provinces of South 
America to the 
U.S. 

Same 

Juan Martin de Pueyr- 
redon. Supreme Di- 
rector of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 

W. G. D. Worthington, 
Special Agent of the 
United States to 
Buenos Aires, Chile 
and Peru 

Thomas Lloyd Halsey, 
ex-Consul of the 
U. S. at Buenos 
Aires 



Theodorick Bland, Spe- 
cial Commissioner of 
the U. S. to South 
America 

Joel Roberts Poinsett, 
ex- Agent of the 
U.S. to South 
America 

Same 



To 



John Quincy Adams, Sec. 
of State 



Same 



Same 



President James Monroe 



John Quincy Adams, Sec. 
of State 



Same 

President James Monroe 



Statement [to Dept. of 
State?] 



John Graham, Special 
Commissioner of the 
U. S. to South 
America 

Same 

John Quincy Adams, Sec. 
of State 



Same 



Same 



Date 



Jan. 15, 1818 



Jan. 16, 1818 



Jan. 21, 1818 



Jan. 31, 1818 



March 29, 1818 



April 5, 1818 
May — , 1818 



July I, 1818 



Aug. 21, 1818 



Aug. 26, 1818 
Nov. 2, 1818 



Nov. 4, 1818 



Same 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I xxix 

Part II.' — Communications from Argentina (Continued) 



Doc. 
No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


-'244 


John Graham, Special 
Commissioner of the 
U.S. to South 
America 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


Nov. 5, 1818 


486 


^45 


Caesar A. Rodney, Spe- 
cial Commissioner of 
theU. S. to South 
America 


Same 


Same 


495 


246 


David C. de Forest, 
Agent of the United 
Provinces of South 
America at 
Georgetown 


Same 


Dec. 9, 1818 


515 


247 


Same 


Same 


Dec. 12, 1818 


516 


248 


Same 


Same 


Jan. 8, 1819 


516 


249 


W. G. D. Worthington, 
Special Agent of the 
U. S. to Buenos Aires, 
Chile and Peru 


Same 


March 7, 18 19 


519 


"^50 


John B. Prevost, Spe- 
cial Agent of the 
U. S. to Buenos Aires, 
Chile and Peru 


Same 


Dec. 12, 1819 


537 


251 


Same 


Same 


Feb. 14, 1820 


540 


252 


Same 


Same 


March 9, 1820 


541 


253 


W. G. D. Worthington, 
Special Agent of the 
U. S. to Buenos 
Aires, Chile and Peru 


Same 


March 10, 1820 


544 


254 


John B. Prevost, Spe- 
cial Agent of the 
U. S. to Buenos 
Aires, Chile and Peru 


Same 


March 20, 1820 


545 


255 


W. G. D. Worthington, 
Special Agent of the 
U. S. to Buenos Aires, 
Chile and Peru 


Same 


April 8, 1820 


548 


256 


John B. Prevost, Spe- 
cial Agent of the 
U. S. to Buenos 
Aires, Chile and Peru 


Same 


April 30, 1820 


549 


257 


Same 


Same 


May 24, 1820 


551 


258 


Same 


Same 


June 8, 1820 


552 


259 


Same 


Same 


Sept. 28, 1820 


555 


260 


John M. Forbes, Spe- 
cial Agent of the 
U. S. at Buenos Aires 


Same 


Dec. 4, 1820 


557 


261 


Same 


Same 


March 10, 1821 


569 



XXX LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I 

Part II. — Communications from Argentina (Continued) 



Doc. 
No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


"~ 262 


John M. Forbes, Spe- 
cial Agent of the 
U. S. at Buenos Aires 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


April I, 1 82 1 


572 


263 


Same 


Same 


July 3, 1821 


576 


264 


Same [Minute of con- 
ference with Ber- 
nardo Rivadavia] 


Same 


Aug. 5, 1821 


577 


265 


Same 


Same 


Sept. 2, 1 82 1 


579 


266 


Same 


Same 


Sept. II, 1821 


582 


267 


Same 


Bernardo Rivadavia, 
Minister of Govern- 
ment and Foreign Re- 
lations of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 


Sept. 14, 182 1 


583 


268 


Bernardo Rivadavia, 
Minister of Govern- 
ment and Foreign 
Relations of the 
United Provinces of 
South America 


John M. Forbes, Special 
Agent of the U. S. at 
Buenos Aires 


Sept. 15, 1 82 1 


584 


269 


John M. Forbes [Min- 
ute of a conference 
with Bernardo 
Rivadavia] 


[Sec. of State] 


Sept. 17, 1821 


585 


270 


Same 


Bernardo Rivadavia, 
Minister of Govern- 
ment and Foreign Af- 
fairs of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 


Sept. 22, 1821 


587 


271 


Same 


John Quincy Adams, Sec. 
of State ' 


Sept. 28, 1 82 1 


587 


272 


Bernardo Rivadavia, 
Minister of Govern- 
ment and Foreign 
Relations of the 
United Provinces of 
South America 


John M. Forbes, Special 
Agent of the U. S. at 
Buenos Aires 


Oct. 6, 1821 


590 


273 


John M. F"orbes, Spe- 
cial Agent of the 
U. S. at Buenos Aires 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


Oct. 8, 1821 


591 


274 


Same 


Same 


Oct. 26, 1821 


592 


275 


Same 


Same 


Nov. 8, 1 82 1 


593 


276 


Same 


Same 


Nov. 13, 1821 


596 


277 


Same 


Same 


Nov. 16, 1821 


597 


278 


Same 


Same 


Dec. 12, 1821 


598 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I XXxi 

Part II. — Communications from Argentina {Continued) 



From 



John M. Forbes, Special 
Agent of the U. S. at 
Buenos Aires 



Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

John M. Forbes, Sec. 
of the U. S. Legation 
at Buenos Aires 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Bernardo Rivadavia, 
Minister of Govern- 
ment and Foreign 
Relations of the 
United Provinces of 
South America 

John M. Forbes, Sec. 
of the U. S. Lega- 
tion at Buenos 
Aires 

John AL F'orbes, Act- 
ing Charge d'Affaircs 
of the U. S. at 
Buenos Aires 

Same 



To 



Bernardo Rivadavia, 
Minister of Govern- 
ment and Foreign Re- 
lations of the United 
Provinces of South 
America 

John Quincy Adams, Sec. 
of State 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 



Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Same 

Caesar A. Rodney, U. S. 
Minister at Buenos 
Aires 



John Quincy Adams, Sec. 
of State 



Date 



Same 



Same 



May 23, 1822 



June 5, 1822 

July 10, 1822 
July 18, 1822 
Aug. 21, 1822 
Aug. 23, 1822 
Aug. 24, 1822 
Sept. 2, 1822 
Oct. 16, 1822 
March 2, 1823 

April 30, 1823 
June 2, 1823 
June 22, 1823 
July 5, 1823 
Sept. 12, 1823 
Nov. 5, 1823 
Jan. 3, 1824 
Jan. 24, 1824 
Feb. 12, 1824 
Feb. 12, 1824 



Feb. 22, 1824 



July 5, 1824 



Aug. 13, 1824 



Page 



603 



603 

604 
606 
609 
611 
612 
614 

615 
616 

620 
622 
622 
623 
625 
627 
630 
632 

634 
635 



636 



638 



639 



XXXll LIST OF DOCUMENTS IN VOLUME I 

Part II. — Communications from Argentina (Continued) 



Doc. 

No. 


From 


To 


Date 


Page 


302 


John M. Forbes, Act- 
ing Charge d'Aflfaires 
of the U. S. at 
Buenos Aires 


Manuel Jose Garcia, 
Minister of Foreign 
Relations of Buenos 
Aires 


Dec. 6, 1824 


642 


303 


Same 


John Quincy Adams, 
Sec. of State 


Dec. 17, 1824 


644 


304 


Same 


Same 


Jan. 23, 1825 


645 


305 


John M. Forbes, 
Charge d'Affaires of 
the U. S. Legation 
at Buenos Aires 


Henry Clay, Sec. of 
State 


May 2, 1825 


647 


306 


Same 


Same 


Sept. 18, 1825 


650 


307 


Same 


Same 


Nov. 29, 1825 


651 


308 


Same 


Same 


Feb. 9, 1826 


653 


309 


Same 


Same 


June 17, 1826 


653 


310 


Same 


Same 


July 15, 1826 


655 


311 


Same 


Same 


Aug. 3, 1826 


656 


312 


Same 


Same 


Sept. 5, 1826 


657 


313 


Same 


Same 


Oct. 25, 1826 


658 


314 


Same 


Same 


March 8, 1827 


660 


315 


Same 


Same 


April 12, 1827 


660 


316 


Same 


Same 


July 18, 1827 


661 


317 


Same 


Same 


May 2, 1828 


662 


318 


Same 


Same 


Sept. 13, 1828 


663 


319 


Same 


Martin Van Buren, Sec. 
of State 


Feb. 13, 1830 


664 


320 


Same 


Same 


Dec. 25, 1830 


665 



NOTE 

The idiosyncrasies of spelling, punctua- 
tion, capitalization and grammar of the 
original manuscript stand uncorrected in 
this print, except in case of manifest and 
inadvertent error, where the correction 
could in nowise affect the sense. 



PART I 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 



COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

1 

Robert Smith, Secretary of State, to General John Armstrong, United States 

Minister to France ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, D. C, April 27, i8og. 

The policy or the pride of the new Spanish Monarch ^ or of the Emperor 
influencing him, may, in the event of a resistance to his authority, in South 
America, insist, as was done in the case of St Domingo,^ on our prohibiting 
all trade therewith from the United States. It will be of much importance 
that such a demand be averted, as the right to rriake it cannot be admitted 
and the attempt may endanger the peace of the two Countries. 



Robert Smith, Secretary of State, to General John Armstrong, United States 

Minister to France * 

[extract] 

Washington, May i, i8og. 

Sir: I herewith send to you copies of letters that have recently passed 
between Genl Turreau and myself. The one from him indicates what he 
knows or presumes to be the sensibility of his Government as to the relations 
of the United States to the Spanish Colonies. IVIy answer will enable you 
to meet its suggestions with an assurance that the conduct of this Govern- 
ment will be regulated in that respect, as it invariably has been, by the 
principles of good faith and by the rules prescribed by its neutral character. 
It is, however, not to be understood, that the United States will be restrained 

' IMS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VII, 42. Robert Smith, of Maryland, was 
commissioned Secretary of State by President Madison March 6, 1809; was asked by Presi- 
dent Madison to resign; resigned April I, 181 1. John Armstrong, of New York, had been 
commissioned minister plenipotentiary to France June 30, 1804. He left Paris September 
14, i8lo. Mr. Armstrong and James Bowdoin, of Massachusetts, who was then minister 
plenipotentiary at Madrid, were commissioned commissioners plenipotentiary and extraor- 
dinary, March 17, 1806, to treat jointly and severally with Spain concerning territories, 
wrongful captures, condemnations, and other injuries. Armstrong did not go to Madrid, 
but conducted negotiations at Paris. The negotiations were unsuccessful. 

_* Joseph Bonaparte, who had about a year earlier been placed on the Spanish throne by 
his brother Napoleon, the French Emperor, after the forced abdications of the Spanish 
Bourbons. 

* When that former French colony revolted against France. 

* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VII, 43. 



4 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

from interposing in any manner that may be necessary to prevent the Ter- 
ritory claimed under the Convention from being reduced under the posses- 
sion of another belHgerent power. 

There is reason to apprehend that the suspicions of Genl Turreau have 
been particularly incited by the incidental circumstance of Genl Wilkinson 
having touched at the Havana in his passage to New Orleans. The candid 
explanation is, that altho' no formal instructions were given to Genl Wilkin- 
son, it was intended that he should avail himself of every proper occasion to 
remove the impressions, made by our Embargo laws, that the United States 
were in hostile cooperation against the Spanish Colonies; to obviate more- 
over, attempts that might be made to draw them into a hostile collision with 
the United States; and generally, to cultivate such dispositions towards the 
United States as become our existing pacific and legitimate relations. 
Neither Genl Wilkinson, nor any other person has been instructed or au- 
thorized to take any step or hold any communication that could intermeddle 
in the remotest degree with the internal affairs of the Spanish Empire, or 
that could tend to a violation of the strict neutrality professed by the 
United States. 

From the policy and pretensions which had led to the demand heretofore 
made on the United States to interdict our commerce with St Domingo, it 
is not impossible, should Spanish America refuse to acknowledge the new 
dynasty, that a like demand may be meditated. Altho' it may not be proper 
to anticipate such a demand, yet if a purpose of the kind should be clearly 
manifested, it is desirable to obviate it by frank and friendly explanations. 
. . . And it is only necessary to add, that it would, at this time, be as 
difficult to effectuate such a prohibitory regulation, as it would be unreason- 
able to require it, and that the measure is regarded by the President in 
such a light as that no countenance is to be given to any hope of attaining it, 
even by an offer of arrangements otherwise satisfactory, with respect to the 
Floridas and the Western boundary of Louisiana. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



DOCUMENT 4: JUNE I3, 181O 5 

3 

Robert Smith, Secretary of State, to Thomas Sumter, Jr., United States Min- 
ister to the Portuguese Court in Brazil "•• ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, August i, i8og. 

You will not fail to communicate the earliest information of all the ma- 
terial occurrences in Spanish America, which may have been produced by 
the present contest in Spain. And whatever may ultimately be the form 
of Government there established it is our policy to be in harmony with it. 
You will however at the same time keep in mind that in any conflicts that 
may arise we will faithfully preserve our neutral character. 



Robert Smith, Secretary of State, to William Pinkney, United States Minister 

to Great Britain ^ 

Washington, June 13, 18 10. 

Sir: According to present appearances a crisis is approaching which 
cannot fail to dissolve the Colonial relation of Spanish America to their 
parent Country. It is the duty therefore of the United States to turn their 
attention particularly to the case of the two Floridas in whose destiny they 
have so near an interest. Besides that which results from Geographical 
position the United States consider themselves as holding a legal title to the 
greater part of West Florida under the purchase made by the Convention 
with France in the year 1803. And they have a fair claim of another kind, 
which would certainly not be more than satisfied by the acquisition of the 
residue of the West and the whole of East Florida. Under these circum- 
stances it may be proper not to conceal from the British Government (which 
may otherwise form views towards these territories inconsistent with the 
eventual ones entertained by the United States) that any steps on the part 

* In 1807 the Portuguese Court, in order to escape from Napoleon, fled from Lisbon and 
took refuge in Brazil, where it remained until 1821. 

=> MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VII, 53. Thomas Sumter, Jr., of South 
Carolina, was commissioned minister plenipotentiary to Portugal, March 7, 1809, but 
accredited to the Portuguese court, residing in Brazil. He took leave July 24, 1819. 

3 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VII, 98. James Monroe, of Virginia, and 
William Pinkney, of Maryland, were jointly and severally commissioned. May 12, 1806, as 
commissioners for the settlement of differences with Great Britain and establishing com- 
merce. Mr. Monroe took leave of the British court, October 7, 1807, and Mr. Pinkney 
May 7, 181 1. The latter was also minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain from May 12, 
1806, until May 7, 18 11. 



6 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

of Great Britain interfering with these will necessarily be regarded as unjust 
and unfriendly, and as leading to collisions, which it must be the interest 
of both nations to avoid. 

This instruction from the President is given to you on the supposition that 
the connection of Great Britain with Spain will have been terminated by 
events in Europe. You will of course forbear to execute it in a different 
state of things. And in executing it you will be careful to authorize no 
inference with respect to the intentions of this Government inconsistent with 
the principles of justice and neutrality on which the policy of the United 
States is founded. 

With great respect [etc.]. 



Robert Smith, Secretary of State, to Joel Robert Poinsett of South Carolina, 
appointed Special Agent of the United States to South America^ 

[extract] 

Washington, June 28, 18 10. 

Sir: As a crisis is approaching which must produce great changes in the 
situation of Spanish America, and may dissolve altogether its colonial rela- 
tions to Europe, and as the geographical position of the United States, and 
other obvious considerations, give them an intimate interest in whatever 
may effect the destiny of that part of the American continent, it is our duty 
to turn our attention to this important subject, and to take such steps, not 
incompatible with the neutral character and honest policy of the United 
States, as the occasion renders proper. With this view, you have been 
selected to proceed, without delay, to Buenos Ayres. You will make it 
your object, wherever it may be proper, to diffuse the impression that the 
United States cherish the sincerest good will towards the people of Spanish 
America as neighbors, as belonging to the same portion of the globe, and as 
having a mutual interest in cultivating friendly intercourse: that this dis- 
position will exist, whatever may be their internal system or European rela- 
tion, with respect to which no interference of any sort is pretended: and that, 
in the event of a political separation from the parent country, and of the 

^ House Report No. 72, 20th Congress, 2d session, p. 7. The original of this document was 
not located in the archives of the Department of State. In the printed source from which 
it has been taken the heading reads "Extract of a letter from Mr. Monroe, Secretary of 
State, to, etc." — an obvious error since Monroe was not Secretary of State until April 2, 
1811, and Robert Smith held the post until April i, 1811. 

Joel R. Poinsett, of South Carolina: In addition to this special mission to South America 
was commissioned envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Mexico, March 8, 
1825. He was also commissioned envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to 
Congress of Panama, which was to reassemble at Tacubaya, February 12, 1827. Took 
leave of Mexican government, December 25, 1829. 



DOCUMENT 6: NOVEMBER I, 1 8 10 7 

establishment of an independent system of National Government, it will 
coincide with the sentiments and policy of the United States to promote the 
most friendly relations, and the most liberal intercourse, between the in- 
habitants of this hemisphere, as having all a common interest, and as lying 
under a common obligation to maintain that system of peace, justice, and 
good will, which is the only source of happiness for nations. 

Whilst you inculcate these as the principles and dispositions of the United 
States, it will be no less proper to ascertain those on the other side, not only 
towards the United States, but in reference to the great nations of Europe, 
and to the commercial and other connexions with them, respectively: and, 
generally, to inquire into the state, the characteristics, and the proportions, 
as to numbers, intelligence, and wealth, of the several parties, the amount of 
population, the extent and organization of the military force, and the pecu- 
niary resources of the country. 

The real as well as ostensible object of your mission is to explain the 
mutual advantages of commerce with the United States, to promote liberal 
and stable regulations, and to transmit seasonable information on the sub- 
ject. In order that you may render the more service in this respect, and 
that you may, at the same time, enjoy the greater protection and respecta- 
bility, you will be furnished with a credential letter, such as is held by sundry 
agents of the United States in the West Indies, and as was lately held by 
one at the Havana, and under the sanction of which you will give the requi- 
site attention to commercial objects. 



Robert Smith, Secretary of State, to General John Armstrong, United States 

Minister to France ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, November i, iSio. 

Sir: You will avail yourself of the first proper opportunity to bring to the 
view of the French Government the trade with Spanish and Portuguese 
America which the British Government is at this time pushing thro' every 
avenue which its power and policy can penetrate. This monopoly not only 
affords to Great Britain the means of furnishing the people of that Country 
altogether with British manufactures, but it moreover enables her to main- 
tain a controuling political ascendency over them which has already shewn 
itself, against the neutral commerce of the United States in the late Com- 
mercial arrangement of her Agent at Caraccas, to be seen in the newspapers 
^ MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VII, 121. 



8 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

now sent you. To counteract the tendency of such an exclusive trade, 
nothing could at this time be more effectual than the opening of all the 
channels of a free commercial communication between the United States and 
France and her allies. By such freedom of admission and the abolition of 
all vexatious restrictions, France and the Nations connected with her would, 
thro' the medium of American enterprize and navigation, obtain a vent for 
a large portion of their produce and manufactures which in no other way 
can find a market in the ports of Spanish and Portuguese America. 



Robert Smith, Secretary of State, to General John Armstrong, United States 

Minister to France ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, November 2, 18 10. 

The recent transactions in Spain having produced in her American 
Colonies a sensation tending to a change of the old established polity, the 
Government of the United States could not remain an unconcerned spectator 
of the occurrence of such important events in our own immediate neighbor- 
hood. So long, however, as the fluctuation of opinions and policy did not 
actually interfere with the jurisdiction of the United States, or place in 
jeopardy the security of any of their territorial rights, the President confined 
within the limits of a necessary vigilance his attention to the incidents that 
had become public. But the late proceedings of the inhabitants of West 
Florida having indicated in form and in fact a total overthrow there of the 
Spanish authorities and a great uncertainty prevailing with respect to the 
shape which affairs in that quarter might assume if left to the uncontrouled 
current of a revolutionary impulse, the President has been compelled for the 
maintenance of the just rights of the Union to take the necessary measures 
for occupying the Country of West Florida as far as the River Perdido. 
From the enclosed copy of the President's proclamation you will perceive his 
determination to take possession of this Territory, and the considerations 
which have constrained him to resort to this measure. In this posture of 
affairs the Government of the United States will be ready to meet and discuss 
the question of the right of Sovereignty to the Territory thus occupied. 
This act of occupancy, which is merely a change of possession and not a 
change of right, will, it is hoped, be viewed only as the natural consequence 
of a state of things, which the American Government could neither foresee 
nor prevent. 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VII, 123. 



DOCUMENT 9: JANUARY 22, 18II 9 

8 

Robert Smith, Secretary of State, to William Shaler, United States Agent for 
Seamen and Commerce, Habana ^- ^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, November 6, 1810. 

Sir: Your Letters of the 5, 9, 18, 22, 25, 29, June & 2 July have been duly 
received. 

[The second paragraph of this is identical with the above from Smith to 
Armstrong, November 2, 1810.] 

Under the varying aspect of the affairs of Spain, it has been the anxious 
endeavor of the President to regulate his conduct by the rules of the most 
exact neutrality. This disposition has been manifested in the prompt sup- 
pression of unlawful enterprizes carried on by certain Privateers bearing the 
French flag clandestinely fitted out in the Ports of the United States, and 
calculated to annoy the Trade of the subjects of Spain in the Gulph of 
Mexico and elsewhere and in the remonstrance against these illegal Equip- 
ments made to the Government of France, through the American Minister at 
Paris, a Copy of whose Letter to the Duke of Cadore is herewith sent to you. 

These representations will enable you to give at Cuba and elsewhere 
any explanations that may be necessary. 

In the enclosed Gazette you will perceive an official Declaration of the 
British Government respecting Spanish America which is transmitted to you 
as an evidence of the policy and views of the British Government, in relation 
as well to old Spain as to Spanish America. This in your hands may be 
useful. 

I am [etc.]. 



Robert Smith, Secretary of State, to William Pinkney, United States Minister 

to Great Britain^ 

Washington, January 22, iSii. 

Sir: You will herewith receive copies of two acts of Congress, which have 
been passed with closed doors and which have not yet been made public. 
You will thence perceive that the United States are not disposed to acquiesce 
in the occupation on the part of any foreign power of any part of East or 
West Florida, and that Congress have provided under certain contingencies 
for the temporary occupation of the said Territory. 

' The same, mutatis mutandis, with the exception of the first paragraph, to William K. 
Loury, Caracas, and to Joel Robert Poinsett, Buenos Aires. See doc. 115 below addressed 
to Robert K. Lowry commissioning him consul at La Guayra in 1823. It is possible that 
they are the same. The records of the Division of the Department of State do not include 
special agents. 

2 MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, I, 352. 

* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers. VII, 140. 



10 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

This proceeding is, on the part of the United States justified by national 
interest and by national poHcy; an interest founded upon a recognized 
though unHquidated claim on Spain for indemnities; and a policy impera- 
tively prescribed by a legitimate principle of self preservation. 

At a period prior to the purchase of Louisiana the attention of this Gov- 
ernment had been directed to the peaceable acquisition of the Floridas from 
Spain. That purchase, whilst it diminished the geographical extent of 
West Florida, and lessened the value of the Spanish possessions in that 
quarter, has increased the solicitude of the United States for the Sovereignty 
of a tract of Country, whose contiguity rendered it vitally important in a 
military, naval and commercial point of view. Mingled with considerations 
of this nature, are claims which this Government has justly maintained 
against Spain, the final adjustment of which, it was believed, might be 
facilitated by a purchase for a fair price, of all the Territory of Florida East 
of the River Perdido. The fate of a proposition to this effect had not been 
decided when the present revolution commenced in Spain, the fury of which 
has extended to and convulsed her American Colonies, has weakened in them 
the authority of the parent kingdom, and in some instances has produced a 
dissolution of the old form of Government and the institution of independent 
States. In this condition of the Spanish Empire, with the antient system 
of Government expiring, new systems of Rule growing up in her provinces 
and exposed to events which the vicissitudes of a political and military 
revolution render incalculable, what more natural, what more conformable 
to justice, than for the United States in a spirit of friendly moderation to 
seek security for those indemnities not disowned by Spain herself, but the 
payment of which has been so long delayed? Should a new Government be 
established in Spain under any auspices whatsoever and declare itself ab- 
solved from the payment of the debts of the old Monarchy, to what source, 
except a pledge in possession, could the United States recur for remuneration 
for so many losses which their Citizens have suffered from the effects of the 
laws and the policy of Spain? 

This motive of national interest is supported and strengthened by the 
obvious policy of the measure. Altho' this Government does not wantonly 
seek an extension of Territory, it frankly avows the pursuit of an object 
essential to its future peace and safety upon honorable and reasonable terms. 
The United States cannot see with indifference a foreign power, under any 
pretext whatever possess itself of the Floridas. The prospect of danger to 
the Union from such a step would be too imminent, the real object too ap- 
parent for them either to disguise their sentiments or to hesitate a moment as 
to the conduct which they would be inevitably compelled to pursue. This 
explicit declaration, uttered with sincerity and friendliness ought to ad- 
monish the British Government (should it unhappily yield itself up to such 
improper desires) to check all inclination of gaining a footing in the Floridas. 



DOCUMENT lO: APRIL 30, 181I II 

The Government of France will also be immediately apprized of this 
declaration on the part of the United States. 

These observations, which at an early day and on a suitable occasion 
you are to present in substance to the British Government are applicable to 
the two contingencies contemplated by the accompanying acts of Congress. 
In either of these cases, however, the United States, you may add, intend 
nothing more than the preservation of the peace and quiet of the Territory, 
the prevention of anarchy, and the exclusion of all external interference; 
and in this posture to await the re-establishment of a state of things, in 
which all matters in dispute may be amicably and satisfactorily adjusted 
upon principles of right and equity with the competent authority. 

In making the communication to the British Government now confided 
to your discretion, you will of course, be fully sensible of the importance of 
doing it in a manner that will guard as much as possible, against irritating or 
precipitating it, into the measure to be obviated; and you will lose not a mo- 
ment in transmitting intelligence as to the temper in which the communica- 
tion may be received, and as to the effect likely to be produced by it on the 
policy of that Cabinet. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



10 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Joel Robert Poinsett, United States 
Consul General at Buenos Aires ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, April so, 1811. 

The instructions already given you ^ are so full, that there seems to be 
little cause to add to them at this time. Much solicitude is felt to hear from 
you on all the topics to which they relate. The disposition shewn by most of 
the Spanish provinces to separate from Europe and to erect themselves into 
independent States excites great interest here. As Inhabitants of the same 
Hemisphere, as Neighbors, the United States cannot be unfeeling Spectators 
of so important a moment. The destiny of those provinces must depend on 
themselves. Should such a revolution however take place, it cannot be 
doubted that our relation with them will be more intimate, and our friend- 
ship stronger than it can be while they are colonies of any European power. 

1 have [etc.]. 

* MS. Dispatches to Consuls, I, 365. James Monroe, of Virginia: Commissioned Secretary 
of State by President Madison, April 2, i8i i ; was appointed Secretary of War, September 26, 
1814, and confirmed by the Senate, September 27, 1814; continued to serve as Acting Secretary 
of State also. President Madison offered the position to Daniel D. Tompkins, September 28, 
1814, who declined it. Mr. Monroe was again commissioned as Secretary of State by Presi-' 
dent Madison, F'cbruary 28, 1815, and retired, March 4, 1817, on becoming President. 

2 See above, doc. 5, Smith to Poinsett, June 28, 1810. 



12 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

11 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to John Qiiincy Adams, United States 

Minister to Russia ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, iVoz/em&er^j, i^/j. 

Various considerations, which will readily suggest themselves to you, 
have induced this Government to look with a favorable eye to a Revolution 
which is now taking place in South America. Several of the Provinces have 
sent Deputies to this Country, to announce a complete Revolution in some, 
and the approach of it in others, but as yet a formal recognition of a Minister 
from neither has been made, nor has it been urged. 



12 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Joel Barlow, United States Minister 

to France '^' ' 

Washington, November 27, 1811. 

Sir: A Revolution in the Spanish Provinces, South of the United [States] 
is making a rapid progress. The Provinces of Venezuela have declared 
themselves independent and announced the event to this Government. The 
same step it is said, will soon be taken at Buenos Ayres and in other quarters. 
The Provinces of Venezuela have proposed to the President the recognition 
of their independence, and reception of a Minister from them; and altho' 
such recognition in form has not been made, yet a very friendly and con- 
ciliatory answer has been given to them. They have also been informed 
that the Ministers of the United States in Europe, will be instructed to 
avail themselves of suitable opportunities to promote their recognition by 
other powers. You will not fail to attend to this object, which is thought to 
be equally due to the just claims of our Southern Brethren, to which the 
United States cannot be indifferent, and to the best interests of this Country. 

^ MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VII, 179. John Quincy Adams, of Massa- 
chusetts: Commissioned minister plenipotentiary to Russia, June 27, 1809. Took leave, 
April 7, 1814. Commissioned (with others) minister plenipotentiary and extraordinary, 
January 18, 18 14, with power to negotiate and conclude a treaty of peace and a treaty of 
commerce with Great Britain. Commissioned envoy extraordinary and minister plenipo- 
tentiary to Great Britain, February 28, 1815. Took leave, May 14, 1817. Commissioned 
(with others) envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, April 17, 1813, with power, 
jointly and severally, to conclude a peace with Great Britain. Commissioned Secretary of 
State by President Monroe, March 5, 1817; retired, March 4, 1825, on becoming President. 

^ A circular identical with the first paragraph of this letter was sent to the United States 
Ministers to Great Britain, Russia and Denmark. 

'MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VII, 183. Joel Barlow, of Connecticut: 
Commissioned minister plenipotentiary to France, February 27, 181 1. Died at Zarnowice, 
December 26, 1812, on his return to Paris from Vilna. 



DOCUMENT 13: DECEMBER 9, 181I I3 

In SO doing you will be careful not to compromit the pacifick relations sub- 
sisting between the United States and other powers. 

A late communication from Mr Russell/ supported by one made today, 
by Mr Serurier ^ by the order of his Government shews that France is 
disposed to harmonise on this great subject, with the policy which has been 
adopted by the United States. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 

13 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Samuel L. Mitchill, United States 
Representative from New York ' 

Washington, December g, 1811. 

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you, in compliance with the request 
contained in your letter of the 5th inst.,* a copy of the declaration of in- 

1 Jonathan Russell of Rhode Island: Charge d'affaires to France. Left in charge of 
legation, September 14, 1810. Left Paris in November, 1811. Appointed charge d'affaires 
at London, July 27, 181 1. He was received by the British government, November 15, 181 1. 
Received passport, at his request, September 2, 1812. Commissioned minister plenipoten- 
tiary and extraordinary (with others), January 18, 1814, with power to negotiate and 
conclude a treaty of peace and a treaty of commerce with Great Britain. Commissioned 
minister plenipotentiary to Sweden and Norway, January 18, 18 14. Took leave, October 
16, 1818. 

* Mr. Serurier, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary from France: Pre- 
sented credentials about February 21, 181 1. Took leave, January 22, 1816. 

^American State Papers, Foreign Relations, III, 539. 

* The letter of the 5th instant from the Hon. Samuel L. Mitchill to Secretary Monroe 
was the following, copied from the same page: 

House of Representatives, December 5, 1811. 

Sir: In behalf of the committee appointed to consider so much of the President's 
message of the 5th November as relates to the Spanish American provinces, I beg leave 
to inquire whether it is known to our Government that any of those provinces have 
declared themselves independent, or that material changes have taken place in their 
political relations. It is not expected, however, that my request will be understood to 
extend to those communications which, in the opinion of the Executive, it would be 
improper to disclose. 

Be pleased, sir, to accept [etc.]. 

The committee submitted to the House the following recommendation: 

House of Representatives, December 10, 1811. 

The committee to whom was referred so much of the President's message as relates 
to the Spanish American colonies, have, in obedience to the order of the House, deliber- 
ately considered the subject before them, and directed a report, in part, to be submitted 
to the consideration of the House, in the form of a public declaration, as follows: 

Whereas, several of the American Spanish provinces have represented to the United 
States that it has been found expedient for them to associate and form federal Govern- 
ments upon the elective and representative plan, and to declare themselves free and 
independent: Therefore be it 

Resolved by the Senate and House oj Representatives of the United States of America in 
Congress assembled, That they behold, with friendly interest, the establishment of 
independent sovereignties by the Spanish provinces in America, consequent upon the 
actual state of the monarchy to which they belonged; that, as neighbors and inhabitants 
of the same hemisphere, the United States feel great solicitude for their welfare; and 
that, when those provinces shall have attained the condition of nations, by the just 
exercise of their rights, the Senate and House of Representatives will unite with the 
Executive in establishing with them, as sovereign and independent States, such ami- 
cable relations and commercial intercourse as may require their legislative authority. 



14 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

dependence made by the provinces of Venezuela. This act was communi- 
cated to this Government by order of the Congress, composed of deputies 
from those provinces, assembled at Caraccas. It is not ascertained that any 
other of the Spanish provinces have, as yet, entered into similar declarations; 
but it is known that most, if not all of them, on the continent, are in a revo- 
lutionary state. The progress made in that direction by some of them will 
best appear in the documents which have already been communicated to you. 
I have the honor [etc.]. 



14 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Talisfero de Orea, Commissioner of 
Venezuela to ihe United States ^ 

Washington, December 19, 1811. 

Sir: I have already had the honor to inform you that I had laid before 
The President the copy of the declaration of Independence entered into by 
the Provinces of Venezuela, which you presented to me, and that he had 
received it with the interest which so important an event was calculated 
to excite. 

Of the interest which The President takes in this important event, and in 
the welfare of the inhabitants of all the Spanish Provinces South of the 
United-States, you have had an unequivocal proof in his remarks on that 
subject, in the message to Congress at the commencement of the session. 
And by the report of the committee to whom that part of the message was 
referred, a strong indication is given, that the legislative branch of our 
government participates in the sentiments which have been expressed by the 
chief Magistrate. 

I will add. Sir, that the Ministers of the United-States in Europe have been 
made acquainted with these sentiments of their government, and instructed 
to keep them in view in their communications, with the Courts, near which 
they respectively reside. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 

15 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Alexander Scott, United States Agent to 

Caracas ^ 

Washington, May 14, 1812. 

Sir: Having sometime since apprised you of your appointment to the 
Caraccas, I have now to inform you that the President wishes you to proceed 
there without delay, in discharge of the duties of the trust confided to you. 

1 MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 17. 

2 House Report Number 72, 20th Congress, 2d session. 



DOCUMENT 15: MAY 1 4, 1 8 12 1 5 

You will obtain a passage in one of the vessels by which the provisions pro- 
cured, in compliance with a late act of Congress, for the Go\"ernment of 
Venezuela, will be forwarded. 

I cannot better convey to you an idea of the duties which you will have 
to perform with the Government of Venezuela, than by communicating to 
you a copy of the instructions which were given to the Agent of the United 
States at Buenos Ayres.' The independence of the Provinces of Venezuela 
forms an essential difference between their situation and that of the other 
Provinces of Spain in America; but still, until their independence is more 
formally acknowledged by the United States, it cannot materially affect 
your duties. Until such acknowledgment may be made, your agency will be 
of a character suited to the case; for which you will receive herewith creden- 
tial letters, such as are held by the Agent of the United States at Buenos 
Ay res. 

A principal motive in delaying to recognize in greater form the inde- 
pendence of the Government of Venezuela proceeds from a desire to ascertain 
how far those Provinces are competent to its support; by which is to be un- 
derstood the intelligence of the people, and their union and decision in its 
favor. If the people are resolved to maintain their independence, their suc- 
cess seems to be inevitable. The United States take a sincere interest in it, 
from generous sentiments, and from a conviction, also, that, in many ways, it 
will prove reciprocally advantageous. France favors it, and Great Britain 
will not long oppose it, if she does at all, by force, or by exposing herself 
to war. Nothing, however, would be more absurd than for the United 
States to acknowledge their independence in form, until it was evident that 
the people themselves were resolved and able to support it. Should a 
counter-revolution take place after such acknowledgment, the United States 
would sustain an injury, without having rendered any advantage to the 
people. 

A friendly comgaunication may, in the mean time, be preserved, with the 
same advantage as if their independence had been thus formally acknowl- 
edged. The United States are disposed to render to the Government of 
Venezuela, in its relations with foreign powers, all the good offices that they 
may be able. Instructions have been already given to their Ministers at 
Paris, St. Petersburgh, and London, to make known to those courts that the 
United States take an interest in the independence of the Spanish Provinces, 

It will be your duty to make yourself acquainted with the state of the 
public mind in the Provinces of Venezuela, and in all the adjoining Provinces 
of Spain; their competence to self-government; state of political and other 
intelligence; their relations with each other; the spirit which prevails gen- 
erally among them as to independence; their disposition towards the United 
States, towards Old Spain, England, and France: and, in case of their final 
* See above, doc. 5, Secretary of State to Poinsett, June 28, 1810. 



l6 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

dismemberment from the parent country, what bond will hereafter exist 
between them; what form it will take; how many confederations will 
probably be formed, and what species of internal government is likely to 
prevail. You will be sensible that the United States cannot fail to take a 
deep interest in the establishment of a Republican Government in those 
Provinces, from a belief that the people will be happier under it, and the 
greater confidence which must exist, in consequence of it, between us. 

You will also be particularly attentive to the protection of our commerce 
with the Government of Venezuela, to see that it enjoys all the advantages 
which may be fairly claimed ; and you will furnish all useful information rela- 
tive to their exports and imports. 

You are already apprised of the supplies which have been procured, in 
compliance with an act of Congress, for the Government of Venezuela, in con- 
sequence of the distress occasioned by the late dreadful earthquake there. 
These supplies will be forwarded by vessels from Baltimore, Philadelphia, 
and New York, and are intended to be presented, on the part of this Govern- 
ment, to that of Venezuela, for the relief of the People. You will receive 
with this letter a copy of the act of Congress, which will be your guide in com- 
municating the measure to that Government. It is hoped that you will ar- 
rive at in time to take charge of all these supplies; but as it is possible 

that this may not happen, a conditional instruction will be forwarded to 
Mr. Lowry, to act in the business in your absence. 

You will not fail to intimate, in suitable terms, that this interposition for 
the relief of the distressed people of Venezuela is a strong proof of the friend- 
ship and interest which the United States take in their welfare. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



16 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to M. Palacio, Agent of Cartagena to the 

United States ^ 

Washington, December 2q, 1812. 

Sir: The United-States being at peace with Spain cannot take any step 
in relation to the contests between the different sections of the Spanish 
monarchy, which would be of a character to compromit their neutrality. 
At the same time it is proper to observe, that as inhabitants of the same 
hemisphere, the government and people of the United-States take a lively 
interest in the prosperity and welfare of their neighbours of South-America, 
and will rejoyce at any event which has a tendency to promote their happi- 
ness. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 51. 



DOCUMENT 17: DECEMBER 10, 1815 I7 

17 

James Monroe, Secretary of Stale, to John Quincy Adams, United States 

Minister to Great Britain ^ 

Washington, December lo, 1815. 

Sir: Reports continue to circulate that the Spanish government has 
ceded to Great Britain the Floridas and Louisiana. It is also stated that 
measures are taken, for the equipment of an expedition to that quarter, to 
consist of so large a body of men, as would not be contemplated, if it was the 
intention of the British government, to preserve the existing friendly rela- 
tions between the two countries. Ten thousand men, it is said, are likely to 
be sent from Great-Britain and Ireland; and it has been intimated, that 
some foreign troops, will be taken into British pay and employed in the 
expedition. The Prussian troops, near the channel, are spoken of. 

If the British government has accepted a cession of this territory from 
Spain, and is taking measures for its occupancy, her conduct must be con- 
sidered as decidedly hostile to the U. States. As well might the British 
government send an army, to Philadelphia, or to Charlestown, as to New 
Orleans, or to any portion of Louisiana Westward of the Perdido, knowing as 
it does the just title of the United States to that limit. To send a consider- 
able force to East-Florida, even should the British government state, that 
it had accepted the cession of that province only, could not be viewed in a 
friendly light. Why send a large force there, if Spain has ceded, and is 
ready to surrender the province, unless the British government has objects 
in view, unjust in their nature, the pursuit of which must of necessity, 
produce war with the United-States? East-Florida in itself is comparatively 
nothing; but as a post, in the hands of Great-Britain, it is of the highest 
importance. Commanding the Gulph of Mexico, and all its waters, includ- 
ing the Mississippi with its branches, and the streams emptying into the 
Mobile, a vast proportion of the most fertile and productive parts of this 
Union, on which the navigation and commerce so essentially depend, would 
be subject to its annoyance, not to mention its influence on the Creeks and 
other neighbouring Indians. It is believed if Great-Britain has accepted the 
cession of East-Florida, and of it only, that she has done it with intention 
to establish a strong post there, and to avail herself of it for all the purposes 
above suggested. If the cession has greater extent, the design is more ap- 
parent. 

The President desires that you will bring this subject before the British 
government, without delay, in a friendly and conciliatory manner, and ascer- 
tain, if it is disposed to give the information, whether such cession has been 
made, and if it has, to what extent. If none has been made, the British 
government, will, it is presumed, take an interest in removing the impression, 
MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 13. 



l8 PART I: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

which these reports, coming from so many quarters, could not fail to make. 
If a cession has been made, it is probable that she will explain its extent 
and her future views in regard to it, as a frank and open policy is most 
becoming a great nation, and if her policy is peace, most likely to preserve it. 
If she acquired it in war, be the extent of it what it may, it may have been 
obtained, as an instrument to subserve the purposes of that period only; 
peace having since taken place on conditions satisfactory to both parties, 
her views in regard to that territory, may have undergone a similar change. 
In this case she may be willing to rid herself of a property, which she may 
reasonably anticipate, will never be advantageous to her, and may be pro- 
ductive of much harm. If a cession has been made to Great-Britain of East- 
Florida, and her views in regard to it have undergone such a change, it will 
be agreeable to this government to obtain it of her, at a fair equivalent, as 
you may suggest, in your conferences on the subject, should circumstances 
justify it. 

The revolution which is making rapid progress in South-America, becomes 
daily more interesting to the United-States. From the best information 
that we can obtain, there is much cause to believe, that those provinces will 
separate from the mother-country. Several of them have already abrogated 
its authority, and established independent governments. They insist on 
the acknowledgment of their governments by the United-States, and when 
it is considered that the alternative is between governments, which, in the 
event of their independence, would be free and friendly, and the relation 
which, reasoning from the past, must be expected from them, as colonies, 
there is no cause to doubt in which scale our interest lies. What are the 
views and intentions of the British government on this important subject? 
Is it not the interest of Great-Britain that the Spanish provinces should 
become independent? Will her government promote it, at what time and 
under what circumstances? In case of a rupture, between the U. S. & Spain 
at any future time, what part will Great-Britain take in the contest, it being 
distinctly to be understood, that we shall ask, in regard to the Spanish 
provinces, no privileges in trade which shall not be common to other nations? 
Spain has been long unfriendly to the United-States, and done them positive 
injuries, for which reparation has been withheld, and her government still 
assumes a tone, which, in other respects, is far from being satisfactory. The 
part which the United-States may act hereafter, towards that power, must 
depend on circumstances. Should the Spanish government persevere in its 
unjust policy, it might have some influence on our measures, and it would be 
advantageous to know the views of the British government in these respects. 

The President has agreed, on considerations which have been thought 
sufficient to justify it, to waive objections of a personal nature, and to receive 
Mr. Onis, as Minister from Spain. 

Before entering into any communications with the British government, 



DOCUMENT l8: JANUARY IQ, I816 I9 

relating to the part Great-Britain will take towards the Spanish provinces in 
South-America, who have declared themselves independent, or may here- 
after, you will satisfy yourself that the British government puts a just value 
on the existing relations between the United-States and Great-Britain, and 
will not convert the communication which is a proof of amity, and intended 
to be confidential, into an instrument for promoting hostility between Spain 
and the United-States. Your communication, in any view, had therefore 
better be informal, and apparently proceeding from yourself only. 
I have the honor [etc.]. 



18 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister to the 

United States ^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, January ip, 1816. 

Sir: I have had the honor to receive your letters- of the 30. of December, 
and 2. of January and to submit them to the President. 

You demand that your Sovereign shall be put in possession of West- 
Florida; that certain persons whom you have mentioned, shall be arrested 
and tried on the charge of promoting insurrection in the Spanish provinces, 
and exciting citizens of the United-States to join in it; and thirdly, that the 
flags of Carthagena, the Mexican Congress, Buenos-Ayres, and other revolt- 
ing Provinces, shall be excluded from the ports of the United-States. . . . 

You demand next that Mr. Toledo and others whom you mention, charged 
with promoting revolt in the Spanish provinces, and exciting citizens of the 
United-States to join in it, shall be arrested and tried, their troops disarmed 
and dispersed. 

You intimate that troops are levying in Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, 
and Georgia, for the invasion of the Spanish provinces, of whom one thousand 
are from Kentucky, and three hundred from Tennessee, to be commanded 
by American citizens, but you do not state at what points these men are 
collected, or by whom commanded, and as to the forces said to be raised in 
Louisiana and Georgia, your communication is more indefinite. The in- 
formation recently obtained by this Department, from persons of high con- 
sideration, is of a very different character. It is stated that no men are 
collected, nor is there evidence of an attempt or design to collect any in 
Kentucky, Tennessee, or Georgia, for the purpose stated, and that the force 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 121. This letter is printed in American State 
Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 424. The record shows Luis de Onis as envoy extraordinary 
and minister plenipotentiary of Spain from October 7, 1809, to May 10, 1819. 

' See below, pt. xni, docs. 1037 and 1038. 



20 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

said to be assembled under Mr. Toledo, Is very inconsiderable, and composed 
principally of Spaniards and Frenchmen. If any portion of it, consists of 
citizens of the United-States, their conduct is unauthorized and illegal. 
This force is not within the settled parts of Louisiana, but in the wilderness, 
between the settlements of the United-States and Spain, beyond the actual 
operation of our laws. I have to request that you will have the goodness to 
state, at what points, in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Louisiana, any 
force is collected, the number in each instance, and by whom commanded. 
If such force is collected, or collecting, within the United-States, for the 
purpose suggested, or other illegal purpose, it will be dispersed, and the 
parties prosecuted according to law. 

This government is under no obligation, nor has it the power, by any law 
or treaty, to surrender any inhabitant of Spain, or the Spanish provinces, on 
the demand of the government of Spain; nor is any such inhabitant punish- 
able by the laws of the United-States, for acts committed beyond their 
jurisdiction, the case of pirates alone excepted. This is a fundamental law 
of our system. It is not however confined to us. It is believed to be the 
law of all civilized nations, where not particularly varied by Treaties. 

In reply to your third demand, the exclusion of the Flag of the revolting 
provinces, I have to observe, that in consequence of the unsettled state of 
many countries, and repeated changes of the ruling authority in each, there 
being, at the same time, several competitors, and each party bearing its 
appropriate flag, the President thought it proper, some time past, to give 
orders to the Collectors, not to make the flag of any vessel, a criterion on 
condition of its admission into the ports of the United-States. Having taken 
no part, in the differences and convulsions, which have disturbed those 
countries, it is consistent with the just principles, as it is with the interests 
of the United-States, to receive the vessels of all countries, into their ports, 
to whatever party belonging, and under whatever flag sailing, pirates ex- 
cepted, requiring of them only the payment of the duties, and obedience to 
the laws while under their jurisdiction; without adverting to the question 
whether they had committed any violation of the allegiance or laws obliga- 
tory on them, in the countries to which they belonged, either in assuming 
such flag, or in any other respect. 

In the differences which have subsisted between Spain and her colonies, 
the United-States have observed all proper respect to their friendly relations 
with Spain. They took no measure to indemnify themselves for losses and 
injuries; none to guard against the occupancy of the Spanish territory, by 
the British forces in the late war, or to occupy the territory to which the 
United-States consider their title good, except in the instance of West- 
Florida, and in that instance, under circumstances, which made their inter- 
position, as much an act of accommodation to the Spanish authority there, 
as of security to themselves. They have also prohibited their citizens, from 



DOCUMENT 19: FEBRUARY 2, 1816 21 

taking any part in the war, and the inhabitants of the colonies and other 
foreigners connected with them, from recruiting in the United-States for 
that purpose. The proclamations, which have been issued by the Governors 
of some of the States and Territories, at the instance of the President, and 
the Proclamation lately issued by the President himself, are not unknown to 
your government. This conduct, under such circumstances, and at such a 
time, is of a character too marked, to be mistaken by the impartial world. 

What will be the final result of the civil war, which prevails, between Spain 
and the Spanish provinces in America, is beyond the reach of human fore- 
sight. It has already existed many years, and with various success, some- 
times one party prevailing and then the other. In some of the Provinces, the 
success of the Revolutionists, appears to have given to their cause, more 
stability than in others. All that your government had a right to claim of 
the United-States, was, that they should not interfere in the contest, or 
promote by any active service, the success of the Revolution, admitting that 
they continued to overlook the injuries received from Spain, and remained 
at peace. This right was common to the colonists. With equal justice, 
might they claim, that we would not interfere to their disadvantage: that 
our ports should remain open to both parties, as they were, before the com- 
mencement of the struggle : that our laws regulating commerce with foreign 
nations, should not be changed to their injury. On these principles the 
United -States have acted. 

So much have I thought proper to state respecting the relations existing 
between the United-States and Spain. The restoration of the diplomatic 
intercourse between our governments forms an epoch which cannot fail to 
be important to both nations. If it does not produce a result, favorable to 
their future friendship and good understanding, to your government will the 
failure be imputable. The United-States have at all times been willing, to 
settle their differences, on just principles and conditions, and they still 
are. 



19 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to John Quincy Adams, United States 

Minister to Great Britain ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, February 2, 1816. 

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of a late communication - 
with the Minister of Spain, on subjects highly interesting to the United- 
States. You will I am persuaded see strong proof of the justice and modera- 

* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 23. 
^ See above, doc. 18, Monroe to Onis, January 19, 1816. 



02 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

tion of this government, as well in what regards the future as the past, in 
the reply to his letters. 

A strong suspicion is entertained here by many that the Spanish govern- 
ment relies on the support, of the British, if it is not instigated by it, to 
make those demands. It will be very satisfactory, and is indeed highly 
important, to ascertain what the views of the British government are in 
these respects. You have I presume received my letter of the lo of Decem- 
ber,^ which suggests enquiries much connected with the present one. . . . 



20 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Levett Harris, United States Charg6 

d' Affaires in Russia'^ 

[extract] 

Washington, February 2, 1816. 

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of a late communication ^ 
with the Minister of Spain, on subjects highly interesting to the United- 
States. You will I am persuaded see strong proof of the justice and modera- 
tion of the United-States, as well in what regards the future as the past, in 
the reply to his letters. 

It is important to be made acquainted with the views of the Emperor of 
Russia, respecting the independence of the Spanish Provinces. In former 
communications we had reason to believe that he favored it. It will be 
highly gratifying to find that he still entertains that disposition. You will 
doubtless have no difficulty in ascertaining his sentiments, which I shall be 
glad to be apprized of without delay. The anxiety to possess this informa- 
tion, is increased by a presumption, that the Spanish government would not 
make these extraordinary demands, if it was not countenanced in them 
by some other power. 

^ See above, doc. 17. 

2 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 24. 

3 See above, doc. 18, Monroe to Onis, January 19, 1816. 



DOCUMENT 22: FEBRUARY 21, 1816 23 

21 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to William Eiistis, United States Minister 

to the Netherlands ^- ^ 

Washington, February 2, 1816. 

Sir : I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of a late communication 
with the Minister of Spain, on subjects highly interesting to the United- 
States. You will I am persuaded see strong proof of the justice and modera- 
tion of this government, as well in what regards the future as the past, in the 
reply to his letters. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



22 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister to the 

United States^ 

Washington, February 21, 18 16. 

Sir: It is represented that many American Citizens have been made 
prisoners at Carthagena, by order of the Commander of the forces of His 
Catholic Majesty, and that they are treated with the greatest severity. A 
number of these persons are said to have been seized on the high seas, on a 
charge of having violated the blockade of the port, or on pretexts of other 
kinds; others to have been decoyed there after the place was captured; some 
who were resident merchants; and it is possible, that some may have been 
engaged, as parties, in the civil war, between Spain and her colonies. 

With respect to all those, first above mentioned, it is presumed, that they 
will be discharged, as soon as the circumstances of their respective cases are 
known. With respect to the last class of prisoners, such of our citizens as 
may have been taken in arms, I flatter myself that you will not be less ready 
to interpose your good offices to obtain their discharge. In such commo- 
tions, individuals of various nations, often find themselves, in that situation, 
and it is as contrary to the Law of nations as it is to humanity, to treat them 
otherwise than with the lenity due to prisoners of war. 

The President intends to send immediately a public vessel to Carthagena, 
for these persons, and it will be very satisfactory to commit to the Officer, 
who may be charged with his commands, a letter from you to the Governor 

1 A circular identical with this was on the same date sent to Jonathan Russell, United States 
minister to Sweden and Norway, to Thomas Sumter, United States minister to Brazil, and 
to Henry Jackson, United States secretary of legation in France acting as charge d'affaires 
ad interim from April 22, 18 15, to July 9, 18 16. 

* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 25. William Eustis, of Massa- 
chusetts: Commissioned envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the Nether- 
lands, December 19, 1814. Took leave, May 5, 1818. 

2 MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 131. 



24 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

o^the Province, or other person in authority there, favorable to the object 
of.his mission. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



23 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to George W. Erving, appointed United 

States Minister to Spain ^ 

Washington, March ii, 1816. 

Sir: You will set out in discharge of the duties of your mission to Spain as 
soon after the receipt of this letter as circumstances will permit. Our re- 
lations with that country are, from many causes, becoming daily more and 
more interesting. They will require your assiduous and zealous attention 
as soon as you are recognised by the Spanish Government. 

The restoration of the diplomatic intercourse between the two countries, 
long interrupted by causes well known to you, presents a favorable oppor- 
tunity for the settlement of every difference with that Power. The Presi- 
dent has already manifested his sincere desire to take advantage of it for 
that purpose, and hopes that the Spanish Government cherishes a similar 
disposition. 

The primary causes of difference proceeded from spoliations on their 
commerce, for which Spain is held responsible, the justice of which she 
admitted by a convention ; and from the refusal of the Spanish Government 
to settle on just principles the boundaries of Louisiana, and to compensate, 
on like principles, for the injuries arising from the suppression of the de- 
posite at New Orleans in the breach of the treaty of 1795. The grounds of 
these differences have been so often discussed, and the justice of our claims 
so completely established in the instructions heretofore given, and in com- 
munications with the Spanish Government, that it is thought unnecessary 
to enter into them in this letter. Other injuries have likewise been since 
received from Spain, particularly in the late war with Great Britain, to which 
it may be proper for you to advert. I shall transmit to you, herewith, such 
papers relating to our claims in every instance, as will place their merits in a 
just light. 

In a conversation with Mr. Onis, shortly after the late correspondence with 

him, he intimated that his Government was sincerely desirous of settling 

these differences, and that it might be willing to cede its claim to territory 

on the eastern side of the Mississippi, in satisfaction of claims, and in ex- 

^ American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 433. George W. Erving, of Massa- 
chusetts: Commissioned secretary of legation in Spain, November 22, 1804. Acted as 
charge d'affaires ad interim from January 12, 1805. (Direct and official relations with Spain 
were broken off in 1808 and not renewed until 1814. Mr. Erving, however, remained until 
February, 1810.) Commissioned minister plenipotentiary to Spain, August 10, 1814. Took 
leave April 29, 18 19. 



DOCUMENT 24: MARCH I3, I816 2$ 

change for territory on the western side. He expressed also a desire that the 
negotiation might take place at Madrid, rather than in this city. It was 
expected that he had been already furnished with full powers to negotiate 
such a treaty, and it would be more agreeable to conclude it here if he had 
such powers, or might soon procure them, provided there was any ground to 
hope an early termination of it. But, from the experience we have already 
had, it may be fairly apprehended that a negotiation here would lead to 
very extraordinary delays, which it is wished to avoid. 

The President will soon decide on the whole subject; after which, you shall 
be duly instructed of the course to be pursued, and of the measures to be 
taken. These instructions shall be forwarded to you at Madrid by Mr. 
Henry B. Smith. 



24 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister to the 

United States^ 

Washington, March 13, 18 16. 

Sir : I have the honor to inform you that the President has decided to send 
Christopher Hughes Esqre., late Secretary of Legation at Ghent, in the 
frigate Macedonian, to Carthagena, to make application, to the Commander 
of the Spanish forces there, for the restoration of such American citizens as 
may have been made prisoners within the dominions of Spain under his 
command, relative to whom I lately addressed you.^ Mr. Hughes will have 
the honor to deliver you this letter, and I have to request that you will have 
the goodness to give him the letter to the proper authority promised in yours 
to me of the 26. ultimo. 

Altho' you make a distinction between the prisoners to the disadvantage 
of those engaged in the contest prevailing between Spain and the Provinces, 
yet as the latter are entitled by the law of nations, as well as by humanity, 
to be considered and treated as prisoners of war, I flatter myself, on recon- 
sideration of the subject, that you will include them likewise in the benefit 
of your intercession. 

Orders will be given to the Commander of the Macedonian to bring home 
all the citizens of the United-States, who may be thus discharged. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 

' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 132. 
* On February 21, 1816. See above, doc. 22. 



26 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

25 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister to the 

United States^ 

Washington, March 20, 1816. 

Sir: I have had the honor to receive your letter of March 2d. announcing 
the continuance of a blockade of the Spanish coast, in South-America, from 
Santa Marta, to the River Atrato, inclusive of the latter, by the Commander 
in Chief of His Catholic Majesty's forces, and that if any vessel is met South 
of the mouths of the Magdalena, or North of the parallel of Cape Tiburon, on 
the Mosquito Coast, and between the meridian of those points, she shall be 
seized and condemned as prize, whatever may be her documents or destina- 
tion. You state also that the ports of Santa Marta and Porto-Bello are left 
open to neutrals. 

I have to state that this proclamation of General Morillo, is evidently 
repugnant to the law of nations, for several reasons, particularly the follow- 
ing, that it declares a coast of several hundred miles, to be in a state of 
blockade, and because it authorizes the seizure of neutral vessels, at an 
unjustifiable distance from the coast. No maxim of the law of nations is 
better established, than that a blockade shall be confined to particular ports, 
and that an adequate force shall be stationed at each, to support it. The 
force should be stationary, and not a cruizing squadron, and placed so near 
the entrance of the harbour, or mouth of the river, as to make it evidently 
dangerous for a vessel to enter. I have to add that a vessel entering the port, 
ought not to be seized, except in returning to it, after being warned off, by 
the blockading squadron, stationed near it. 

I am instructed by the President to state to you these objections, to the 
blockade, which has been announced in your letter, that you may com- 
municate them to your government, and in confidence that you will, in the 
mean time, interpose your good offices, and prevail on General Morillo, to 
alter his proclamation and practice under it, in such manner, as to conform 
in both respects to the law of nations. 

In stating to you these well founded objections, to this blockade, of 
General Morillo, I have the honor to observe that your motive for communi- 
cating it, is duly appreciated. 

I have the honor [etc.] 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 134. The same is printed in American State Papers. 
Foreign Relations, IV, 156. 



DOCUMENT 26: MARCH 25, 1816 2"] 

26 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Christopher Hughes, Jr., Special Agent 
of the United States to Cartagena ^ 

Washington, March 25, 18 16. 

Sir: In discharge of the trust reposed in you, by the President, you will 
embark on board the Frigate, Macedonian, at Boston, and proceed without 
delay to Carthagena. 

You will receive with this, a letter to the Commander in Chief of the 
Spanish forces, or other person in authority, informing him that you are in- 
structed by the President to request the discharge of such of our citizens as 
may have been taken and detained as prisoners there, or elsewhere within the 
sphere of his command, with their property and to bring them home. It is 
presumed that General Morillo is the officer to whom the letter ought to be 
addressed, but it is given to you, blank, that in case the authority should be 
vested in another, you may direct it to him. 

My letter to the Chevr. de Onis, of February 21,2 states the causes, so far 
as they are known here, for which these persons have been made prisoners. 
By his reply, it may be inferred, that the objections entertained to the dis- 
charge of all who have not borne arms, on the side of the Revolutionists, may 
be, without much difficulty, surmounted. If a difficulty exists with respect 
to any of either of the first classes, it must apply, as is presumed, to those 
who are charged with having violated the blockade. That that should have 
been made a pretext, even had the blockade been legal, is cause of surprise, 
since the forfeiture of the property is the highest penalty recognized by the 
law of nations for such an act. But the blockade is not legal, for the reasons 
stated in my letter to the Chevr. de Onis, of the 20 instant,^ to which I have 
not yet received an answer. The illegality of the blockade vitiates the whole 
proceeding, and is an additional reason for an accommodation in that and all 
similar cases. 

The claim to the discharge of such as have been confined, for joining the 
Revolutionists, is considered, fully sanctioned by the law of nations. The 
war between Spain and her provinces, is marked with all the circumstances 
which characterize a civil war. It has been of long continuance: govern- 
ments regularly organized, are established in the provinces, by whom troops 
are raised, and the war is carried on. Very different is the situation of the 
Spanish provinces from that of an ordinary popular movement, which is 
called an insurrection or rebellion. Nor does the contest take the character 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 40. Christopher Hughes, Jr., of 
Maryland: Commissioned secretary of legation to Sweden and Norway, September 26, 1816. 
Acted as charge d'affaires ad interim from the middle of April to December 10, 1817. Was 
left in charge by Mr. Russell on retiring, October 16, 1818, and remained until he received 
a commission as charge d'affaires, January 20, 1819. Retired, July 15, 1825, having been 
appointed charge d'affaires to the Netherlands. 

' See above, doc. 22. 

'See above, doc. 25. 



28 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

of a civil war, from the manner of its termination, as is known by the example 
of our own revolution. Till the peace of 1783, the fortune of the war was not 
settled; notwithstanding which, the rights of war were observed on both 
sides, flags passed between them, discussions took place, cartels were settled 
and exchanges made, from the commencement. Just principles, as well as 
example, require, that these humane usages should be observed in the war 
between Spain and her colonies, and if yielding to a more vindictive spirit, 
they be disregarded, the consequences will excite the horror of the civilized 
world. Should either of the parties disregard these rules in respect to the 
other, it does not follow that it has a right to do it, with respect to the 
citizens or subjects of other powers. As to the latter, the character of the 
war, is still the same, and the United-States have a right, that the protection 
secured by the law of nations, be extended to them. In the war of our 
Revolution, foreigners in our service, were not only exchanged, but treated 
with marked attention by the British authorities. 

We have seen a Proclamation in the Gazettes, imputed to General Morillo, 
of the vindictive character above described, which, as the Spanish Minister 
has not announced it, may possibly be, a fabrication. In the project of a 
cool and deliberate massacre of prisoners, for various offences, which it 
avows and threatens, it appears that our citizens and the subjects of other 
powers, are equally comprized, with the inhabitants of the Provinces. It is 
hoped that this is not the act of General Morillo, and that he will disavow it. 
It would be a cause of deep regret, if it be his act, that it should be carried into 
effect, against any citizen of the United-States. 

The restoration of the property is supposed to be a necessary consequence 
of the discharge of the persons to whom it belongs. The Blockade being 
unlawful, and the whole proceeding against our citizens of the same charac- 
ter, authorizes the expectation that a conciliatory spirit will be manifested, 
even in cases of doubtful right, should there be such, in deciding on this 
application. 

It is believed that no example can be adduced, in such a contest, under all 
the circumstances attending it, where the inhabitants of a neighbouring 
country, have participated so little in it. This neutrality and impartiality 
of the United-States, will, doubtless, be duly appreciated by the Spanish 
commander. 

The application which you are instructed to make for the restoration of 
our citizens with their property, rests on the ground of right. It will 
nevertheless be proper, while you enforce it on that principle, to mingle in 
your communications with the Spanish commander, in the manner, a spirit 
of friendly conciliation. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



DOCUMENT 28: MAY 10, 1816 29 

27 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Albert Gallatin, United States Minister 

to France^ 

[extract] 

Washington, April 15, 18 16. 

You are acquainted with our situation with Spain, and with the state of her 
contest with her American provinces. It is believed to be the interest of 
most, if not all the other powers of Europe that the provinces should establish 
their Independence. It is very uncertain what part England will take in 
this contest, on which much will depend. If she aids the parent country, the 
colonies may fail. Equally uncertain is it, what part France will take. An- 
other attempt will be made to settle our differences with Spain, on the most 
liberal conditions, but, reasoning from the past, it is impossible to foresee a 
satisfactory result. Should this fail, and a brilliant success attend the Span- 
ish operations against the colonies, its effect will probably be felt in our 
negotiations with the Spanish government. It is therefore important to as- 
certain what the views of the French government are, respecting the Inde- 
pendence of these Provinces, and the differences existing between the United- 
States and Spain, and generally what the connexion is between France and 
Spain, and the support which the latter may derive under any circumstances, 
from the former. It will be your duty to promote such views as may be 
favorable to the United-States. 



28 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to William Pinkney, United States Minister 

to Russia"^ 

[extract] 

Washington, May 10, 1816? 

To the general policy of Russia with other powers, your attention will be 
very properly directed. It is particularly desirable however to ascertain it, 

^ MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 45. Albert Gallatin, of Pennsyl- 
vania: Commissioned with James A. Bayard and John Quincy Adams envoys extraordinary 
and ministers plenipotentiary, April 22, 1813, jointly and severally empowered to negotiate 
a treaty of commerce with Russia. The Senate, on the 19th of July, 1813, assented to the 
appointment of Messrs. Adams and Bayard and rejected Mr. Gallatin. JVIr. Gallatin ad- 
dressed a note to the chancellor on November 2, 1813, stating that he was no longer a member 
of the Mission. Messrs. Gallatin and Bayard left St. Petersburg, January 25, 18 14. Com- 
missioned, with others, minister plenipotentiary and extraordinary, February 9, 18 14, em- 
powered to negotiate and conclude a treaty of peace and a treaty of commerce with Great 
Britain. Commissioned envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to France, 
February 28, 18 15. Left Paris, May 16, 1823, on leave. Was associated with Richard 
Rush, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain, May 22, 1818, 
to conclude treaties for the renewal of the convention of July 3, 1815, and for commerce with 
Great Britain. 

* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 52. 



30 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

in regard to the contest now existing between Spain and her colonies, in 
which, the latter are contending for their Independence. To the result of 
this contest the United-States, from a variety of considerations, cannot be 
altogether indifferent. The government of Spain has long manifested a 
jealousy of the growth of the United-States, and in several instances done 
them serious injury, for which it has hitherto refused to make reparation. 
An attempt will soon be made to adjust these differences, on fair conditions, 
but such has been the conduct of the Spanish government, that much de- 
pendence cannot be placed on a favorable result. 



29 

James Monroe, Secretary oj State, to William Pinkney, United States Minister 

to Russia^ 

Washington, May zy, 1816. 

Sir: As the letters ^ of Mr Onis to this Department which were published 
during the last session of Congress, may have excited some interest in Europe, 
I have deemed it proper to put you in possession of the enclosed copy of a 
communication ^ to me from the Attorney of the United-States for the Dis- 
trict of Louisiana. It will enable you, should occasion require it, to place the 
conduct of this government and its agents, in relation to the contest between 
Spain and her Provinces, in a proper point of view. 

From this communication you will see that the statements of Mr Onis, as 
respects both the military movements and the conduct of the local authori- 
ties in Louisiana, are entirely groundless. I need scarcely add that what he 
has said about the collection of large bodies of armed men in Kentucky & 
Tennessee, for the purpose of invading the possessions of His Catholic Maj- 
esty is equally so. 

1 have the honor [etc.], 

^ MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 70. 

2 See above, doc. 18, Monroe to Onis, January 19, 1816, first paragraph. 
' See below, pt. i, doc. 31, note 4. 



DOCUMENT 31: JUNE 10, 1816 3I 

30 

James Monroe, Secretary of Stale, to Jose Rademaker, Portuguese ChargS 
d' Affaires in the United States^ 

Washington, Junes, 1816. 

Sir : I have received the letter which you did me the honor to address to me, 
with a copy of the order or law, by which your Sovereign has erected Brazil 
into a Kingdom, and annexed it to his Kingdoms of Portugal and Algarves, 
so as to form one and the same political Body under the Title of the United- 
Kingdoms of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves. 

Having submitted these Papers to the President, I have it in charge from 
him to assure you that the measure adopted by your Sovereign is seen with 
great satisfaction by this Government, as it cannot fail to promote the pros- 
perity of his dominions, and may probably strengthen the ties of friendship 
and good understanding which have long happily subsisted between the two 
nations. Both these objects interest the United-States and any measure 
calculated to promote them will be highly acceptable to them. 

You will be pleased to communicate these sentiments to your government 
and to accept the assurances of the great respect with which 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



31 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister to the 

United States'^ 

[extract] 

Washington, June 10, 1816. 

In adverting to the parts of your letter which relate to the revolted Prov- 
inces of Spain in America, and the aid which you state, the revolutionary 
party have derived from the United-States, I cannot avoid expressing, 
equally my surprize and regret. I stated in my letter to you of Jan. 19:' 
that no aid had ever been afforded them, either in men, money or supplies of 
any kind, by the government, not presuming that the gratuitous supply of 
provisions, to the unfortunate people of Caraccas, in consequence of the 
calamity with which they were visited, would be viewed in that light, and 
that aid to them from our citizens, inconsistent with the laws of the United- 
States and with the law of nations, had been prohibited, and that the prohi- 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 139. Jose Rademaker, consul general of Portugal 
in the United States: Acted as charge d'affaires ad interim. 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 146. 

* See above, doc. 18. 



32 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

bition had been enforced with care and attention. You stated in your letter 
of Jany. 2d,^ that forces were collecting in different parts of our Western and 
Southern country, particularly in Kentucky, Tennessee and Louisiana for the 
purpose of invading the Spanish Provinces. I stated to you in reply,^ that 
I knew of no such collection of troops in any quarter, and that from informa- 
tion derived from the highest authorities, I was satisfied that none such had 
been made. I requested you to state, at what points these troops were col- 
lected, and who were the commanders. You have sent me in reply' extracts 
of letters from persons whose names are withheld, which establish none of the 
facts alledged as to the raising of troops in the United-States, but recite only 
vague rumours, to that effect. I have the honor to transmit to you a copy 
of a letter on this subject from Mr Dick,^ the Attorney of the United-States 

1 See below, pt. xin, doc. 1038. 

^ See above, doc. 18, Monroe to Onis, January 19, 1816. 

' See below, pt. xni, doc. 1039, Onis to Secretary of State, February 22, 1816. 
* The enclosed letter from Mr. John Dick to the Secretary of State, above referred to, 
which follows, is reprinted from American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 431: 

New Orleans, March i, 1816. 

Sir: I have just had an opportunity of perusing the letters of the Chevalier de Onis, 
envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of His Catholic Majesty, addressed 
to you under dates of the 30th of December and the 2d of January. As these letters 
dwell largely upon transactions affecting the neutrality of the United States, which are 
said to have occurred, and to be still occurring here, and as they charge the public 
authorities of this city with giving, in the face of the President's proclamation of the ist 
of September last, protection and support to the enemies of His Catholic Majesty, I 
think it not improper to address you in relation to these charges. 

It is affirmed by the Chevalier de Onis, "and it is," says he, "universally public and 
notorious, that a factious band of insurgents and incendiaries continue with impunity, 
in the province of Louisiana, and especially in New Orleans and Natchitoches, the un- 
interrupted system of raising and arming troops to light the flame of revolution in the 
kingdom of New Spain. All Louisiana," he continues, "has witnessed these armaments, 
the public enlistments, the transportation of arms, the junction of the insurgents, and 
their hostile and warlike march from the territory of this republic against the possessions 
of a friendly and neighboring Power." 

No troops at present are, or at any former period were, openly raised, armed, or 
enlisted, at Natchitoches, or at New Orleans, or at any other point within the State of 
Louisiana. Arms have been transported from this place, by sea and otherwise, as 
objects of merchandise, and probably have been disposed of to some of the revolutionary 
Governments of New Spain. It has not been supposed here that there was any law of 
the United States, any provision by treaty, or any principle of national law, that pro- 
hibits this species of commerce. It was considered that the purchasing and exporting, 
by way of merchandise, of articles termed contraband, were free alike to both bellig- 
erents; and that, if our citizens engaged in it, they would be abandoned to the penalties 
which the laws of war authorize. 

What is said, too, about the junction of the insurgents, and their hostile and warlike 
march from the territory of the United States against the possessions of Spain, is un- 
founded. In the summer of the year 1812, a band of adventurers, without organization, 
and apparently without any definite object, made an incursion into the province of 
Texas, as far as San Antonio, by the way of Nacogdoches. No doubt many of the 
persons belonging to this party passed by the way of Natchitoches, but separately, in 
no kind of military array, and under such circumstances as to preclude the interference 
of the civil or military authorities of the United States, or of the State of Louisiana. 

What could be effected in this respect was done; twice in the years 1811-12, parties 
of adventurers, who had assembled between the Rio Hondo and the Sabine, (the neutral 
territory,) were dispersed by the garrison of Natchitoches, their huts demolished, and 
their whole establishment broken up. 



DOCUMENT 31: JUNE 10, I816 33 

for the District of Louisiana, by which you will see how attentive the public 
authorities there have been to the execution of the Laws of the United-States 

The party that marched upon San Antonio assembled to the west of the Sabine, 
beyond the operation of our laws, and from thence carried on their operations. So far 
from troops, upon this occasion, assembling at different points, forming a junction 
within the territories of the United States, and marching thence, I am assured, by 
various and most respectable authorities, that, although it was generally understood 
at Natchitoches that some enterprise was on foot, it was extraordinary to see two of the 
persons supposed to be engaged in it together. The officer commanding at that time 
the United States troops at Natchitoches (Major VVolstoncraft) offered his services to 
the civil authorities in aid of the laws, and to preserve inviolate the neutrality which 
they enforce. 

In consequence, several individuals found with arms were arrested; they alleged that 
they were hunters; and there being no evidence to the contrary, or rather no proof of 
their being engaged in any illegal undertaking, they were, of course, discharged. So 
well satisfied, indeed, were the Spanish authorities of the adjoining province that 
neither our Government nor its agents gave succors or countenance to this expedition, 
that, during the time they knew it to be organized, or organizing, they applied to the 
garrison at Natchitoches for an escort to bring in some specie, which was immediately 
granted. 

Toledo, who, at the time of its defeat, commanded the party that penetrated to San 
Antonio, came to this city in the autumn of 1814, when he was immediately arrested, 
and recognised to answer, at the succeeding term of the federal court, to a charge of 
setting on foot, within the territory of the United States, a military expedition or enter- 
prise, to be carried on from thence against the territories or dominions of the King of 
Spain; six months having passed, and no testimony whatever appearing against him, 
his recognizance was delivered up. 

After the discomfiture of the party under Toledo, no enterprise destined to aid the 
revolutionists of New Spain appears to have been set on foot from the vicinity of the 
United States, until late in the summer of last year, when it was rumored that a party, 
under a person of the name of Perry, was forming for that purpose somewhere on the 
western coast of Louisiana. Upon the first intimation that this enterprise was medi- 
tated, steps were taken here to frustrate it. Nothing occurred to justify prosecutions 
or arrests; a large quantity of arms, however, supposed to be intended for this party, 
were seized on the river, and detained at the custom-house for several months; and 
Commodore Patterson, commanding naval officer on this station, instructed the officers 
under his command, cruising in the neighborhood of the suspected place of rendezvous, 
(Belleisle, at the mouth of Bayou Teche,) to ascertain the truth of the rumors in circu- 
lation, and, if verified, to use the force under their respective commands in dispersing 
the persons assembled, and in frustrating their illegal intentions. In obedience to these 
orders, the coast, as far as the Sabine, was examined, and no persons discovered. It 
is now ascertained that Perry, Humbert, and their followers, inconsiderable in number, 
passed separately through Attakapas, and assembled about two leagues to the west of 
the Sabine. Thence they embarked for some place on the coast of Mexico, were 
wrecked, dispersed, and their plans, whatever they were, totally defeated. 

I have, in the foregoing detail, sir, given, partly from information entitled to perfect 
confidence, and partly from my own knowledge, a brief and hurried outline of two fruit- 
less attempts of a handful of restless and uninfluential individuals, stimulated by the 
desire of aiding the cause of Mexican independence, or that of bettering their own 
fortunes. These are the only military enterprises against the dominions of the Spanish 
Crown that have drawn any portion of their aid or support from Louisiana: in both, 
the mass of adventurers was composed of Spaniards, Frenchmen, and Italians. I need 
not say that these enterprises, whether in aid of the revolutionists or merely predatory, 
were not only feeble and insignificant, but that they were formed under circumstances 
which forbid a surmise of their being sanctioned or connived at. Every man acquainted 
with the state of public feeling throughout the southern and western sections of the 
United States knows that had our Government but manifested the slightest disposition 
to sanction enterprises in aid of the revolutionists of New Spain, the condition of these 
provinces would not at this day be doubtful. 

It is said that troops have been recently enlisted, and that expeditions have been 
preparing, or are prepared, in this city to Invade the dominions of Spain. The enlist- 
ing of men and the preparing of enterprises, or the means for enterprises, of the kind 



34 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

and to the orders of their government, and how Httle they have deserved the 
charges made against them. 

spoken of, cannot be accomplished without means, or be carried on in the midst of a 
populous city in solitude and silence. Yet it is known, in the first place, that neither 
Mr. Toledo nor Mr. Herrera had or have pecuniary means for such purposes; and, in 
the second, so far as negative proof can go, or so far as the absence of one thing implies 
another, it is most certain that no enlistments have taken place, and that no expedi- 
tions, or the means of expeditions, have been prepared or are preparing here. 

A regard to truth makes it necessary to say that what is alleged respecting the arm- 
ing and fitting out of vessels within the waters of Louisiana, to be employed in the 
service of the revolutionary Governments against the subjects or property of the King 
of Spain, is unfounded. At no period since the commencement of the struggle between 
the Spanish colonies and the mother country have vessels, to be employed in the service 
of the colonies, been permitted to fit out and arm, or to augment their force at New 
Orleans, or elsewhere within the State of Louisiana. 

On the contrary, it is notorious that to no one point of duty have the civil and military 
authorities of the United States directed more strenuously, or, it is believed, more 
successfully, their attention, than to the discovering and suppression of all attempts to 
violate the laws in these respects. Attempts to violate them by fitting out and arm- 
ing, and by augmenting the force of vessels, have no doubt been frequent, but certainly 
in no instance successful, except where conducted under circumstances of concealment 
that eluded discovery and almost suspicion, or where carried on at some remote point 
of the coast beyond the reach of detection or discovery. In every instance where it 
was known that these illegal acts were attempting, or where it was afterwards discovered 
that they had been committed, the persons engaged, as far as they were known, have 
been prosecuted, while the vessels fitted out, or attempted to be fitted out, have been 
seized and libelled, under the act of the 5th of June, 1794; and when captures have 
been made by vessels thus fitted out and armed, or in which their force was augmented 
or increased within our waters, where the property taken was brought within our juris- 
diction, or even found upon the high seas by our cruisers, and brought in, it has been 
restored to the original Spanish owners, and, in some instances, damages awarded 
against the captors. 

An enumeration of the cases in which individuals have been prosecuted for mfrmgmg, 
or attempting to infringe, our neutrality, in aid of the Governments of New Spain, and 
in which vessels have been seized and libelled, under the act of the 5th June, 1794, 
together with a list of the vessels and property restored to the original Spanish owners, 
(confining the whole to the operations of the year commencing March, 1815, and ending 
February, 18 16,) will show more conclusively, perhaps, than any thing else can, how 
totally without foundation are the complaints of Spain on this head. 

The names of individuals presented in the district court of the United States for the Louisiana 
district, during the year 1815, for violating, or attempting to violate, the neutrality of the 
United States, in aid of the Governments of the United Provinces of New Granada and of 
the United Provinces of Mexico 

Jose Alvarez de Toledo, Remain Very, 

Julius Caesar Amazoni, Pierre Soemeson, 

Vincent Gamble, Bernard Bourdm. 

John Robinson, 
List of vessels libelled for illegal outfits, in aid of the same Governments, during the same 
period 

Brig Flora Americana, restored. Schooner General Bolivar, discontinued. 

Schooner Presidente, condemned. Schooner Eugenia, alias Indiana, condemned. 

Schooner Petit Milan, condemned. Schooner Two Brothers, restored. 
Enumeration of vessels and property brought within the Louisiana district, captured under 
the flags ajid by the authority of the Governments of New Granada and of Mexico, libelled 
on the part of the original Spanish owners, and restored upon the ground that the capturing 
vessels had been fitted out and armed, or had their force augmented, within the waters of 
the United States 

1. Schooner Cometa, restored April, 1815. 

2. Schooner Dorada, proceeds restored i6th May, 1815, $3,050. 

3. Schooner Amiable Maria, proceeds restored i6th May, 1815, $3,850. 



DOCUMENT 32: JULY 20, 1816 35 

As I cannot doubt that you have taken erroneous impressions, from the 
misrepresentation, of partial or misinformed individuals, and that you have 
communicated the same to your government, I rely on your candour to 
adopt such measures, as may appear to you best calculated to place the whole 
subject before it, in a true light. It is important that the effort which The 
President is now making to adjust our differences with Spain, should have the 
desired result, and it is presumable that a correct knowledge of the conduct 
of the United-States, in these circumstances, would promote it. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 

32 

James Monroe Secretary of State to George W. Erving, United States Minister 

to Spain^ 

[extract] 

Washington, July 20, 1816. 

Sir: You have been apprized already of a similar measure which was taken 
in regard to the vessels which had been seized at Carthagena, and the citizens 
of the United States, who, under various pretexts, had been arrested and 
imprisoned there. I have the pleasure to state that the application ^ suc- 
ceeded as to our citizens, though it failed as to the vessels. You will inter- 
pose directly with the Spanish Government in favor of the latter; documents 
respecting which shall be forwarded to you, either by the present or some 
other early opportunity. 

^ Americati State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 157. 

* See above, doc. 26, Monroe to Hughes, March 25, 18 16. 

4. Schooner Experimento, restored 3d August. 

5. The polacre brig De Regla and cargo, proceeds restored i8th December, 1815, 
$19,209.50. 

6. Schooner Alerta and cargo, being the proceeds of the capture of about eighteen 

small vessels, restored i8th December, 181 5, $62,150.05. 
Damages awarded to the original owners against the captors in the two foregoing 
cases, $55,272.97. 

7. The cargo of the schooner Petit Milan, restored February, 1816, $2,444.31. 

8. The cargo of the schooner Presidente, February i, 1816, $10,931.15. 

9. Schooner Sankita and cargo, restored February i, 1816, $37,962.94. 

The preceding account of Spanish property restored to the original proprietors, after 
being in possession of the enemies of Spain, is defective, inasmuch as it does not com- 
prehend the whole of the cases of restoration that have taken place within the period 
to which the detail is confined; the very hasty manner in which I have made this enu- 
meration did not admit of a more accurate statement. The principal cases, however, 
are included in it. In several other cases, where the property was claimed for the 
original Spanish owners, the claims were dismissed, because it did not appear that any 
violation of our neutrality had taken place. 

The capturing vessels were not armed, nor was their force augmented within our 
jurisdiction; nor had the captures been made within a marine league of our shore. The 
principles that guided the decisions of the court, as well in restoring the property cap- 
tured, where our neutral means had been used, as in declining all interference where 
that was not the case, manifest, I think, a disposition to, and an exercise of, the most 
rigid neutrality between the parties, 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



36 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

33 

James Monroe, Secretary of State, to Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister to the 

United States^ 

Washington, July 30, 1816. 

Sir: I had the honor to receive your Letter of the 3d. instant. 

As the discussion of the subjects to which it principally relates, has been 
transferred to Madrid, I shall confine my reply to that part of it in which, 
after manifesting your satisfaction at the measures that had been adopted at 
New Orleans, as detailed in the Letter of the District Attorney of which I 
had the honor to transmit you a copy,^ you express regret that like measures 
were not adopted in other ports of the United-States and state, that five 
vessels had been armed in the port of Baltimore, by a company of merchants 
residing in different parts of the Union, and that one was now arming in the 
port of New-York, all of which were to be sent to cruize off the port of Cadiz, 
under the flag of Buenos-Ayres, for the purpose of intercepting vessels 
belonging to the subjects of His Catholic Majesty. 

As such a proceeding would have been inconsistent with the laws of the 
United-States, and with what is due to the government of His Catholic 
Majesty, I considered it proper to communicate the statement you had made, 
to the officers of this government, whose duty it was to act upon it. I 
accordingly wrote to the Collector of the Customs at Baltimore, and to the 
Attorney of the United-States at New- York. I have now the honor to 
transmit you the answers I have received in relation to the vessels named. 
From these you will perceive that there is no reason known to these officers 
for supposing that either of the vessels was destined to cruize against the 
commerce of your country. It appears however one of them was so em- 
ployed, having changed her character and destination after she left the port 
of Baltimore, and that measures the most prompt and efficient were immedi- 
ately taken for her arrest and detention. Her Crew are now in confinement 
under a warrant from the Judge of the Court for the District of Virginia, 
and orders are given to prosecute the owners for a violation of our laws. 

Had you given me the facts on which your allegations as to the other 
vessels rested, they should have been particularly enquired into; but until 
this is done, I cannot doubt that you will be perfectly satisfied with the 
steps already taken, more especially as you will find that one of the vessels 
you have named is not known to have been in the port where you state she 
was fitted out, and that two of the others have been sold to your govern- 
ment, and are now employed to protect that commerce upon which you had 
supposed they were destined to commit depredations. 

I have the honor [etc.] 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 157. 

• See above, doc. 31, Monroe to Onis, June 10, 1816, and note 4. 



DOCUMENT 34: MARCH 28, I817 37 

34 

Richard Rush, Secretary of State ad interim, to Litis de Onis, Spanish Minister 

to the United States^ 

Washington, March 28, i8iy. 

Sir: I have had the honor to receive your two notes,^ dated the 26th of this 
month, stating that you have been informed that two armed vessels, which 
have been committing unauthorized depredations upon the commerce of 
Spain, have recently arrived at Norfolk, and that a third, liable to the same 
charge, has arrived at Baltimore; thus bringing themselves within the reach 
of those laws against which, in the above, and in other ways, it is alleged 
they have offended. 

Conformably to the constant desire of this Government to vindicate the 
authority of its laws and the faith of its treaties, I have lost no time in writ- 
ing to the proper officers, both at Norfolk and Baltimore, in order that full 
inquiry may be made into the allegations contained in your notes, and ade- 
quate redress and punishment enforced, should it appear that the laws have 
been infringed by any of the acts complained of. 

I use the present occasion to acknowledge also the receipt of your note of 
the 14th ^ of this month, which you did me the honor to address to me, com- 
municating information that had reached you of other and like infractions 
of our laws within the port of Baltimore; in relation to which I have to state, 
that letters were also written to the proper officers in that city, with a view 
to promote every fit measure of investigation and redress. Should it prove 
necessary, I will have the honor to address you more fully at another time 
upon the subjects embraced in these several notes. In the mean time, I 
venture to assure myself, that in the readiness with which they have thus 
far been attended to, you will perceive a spirit of just conciliation on the 
part of this Government, as well as a prompt sensibility to the rights of your 
sovereign. 

I pray you, sir, to accept [etc.]. 

^American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 190. Richard Rush, of Pennsylvania: 
Acting Secretary of State from March 11, 1817, to September 22, 181 7; commissioned envoy 
extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain, October, 1817; confirmed, 
December 16; took leave, April 27, 1825. Albert Gallatin, of Pennsylvania, envoy extraor- 
dinary and minister plenipotentiary to France, was associated with him, May 22, 1818, to 
conclude treaties for the renewal of the convention of July 3, 1815, and for commerce. 

*See below, pt. xiii, docs. 1058 and 1059. 

*The nth? See below, pt. xiii, doc. 1056. 



38 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

35 

Richard Rush, Secretary of State ad interim, to Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister 

to the United States^ 

Washington, April 22, 18 17. 

Sir: By direction of The President I have the honor to ask, whether you 
have received instructions from your Government to conclude a Treaty for 
the adjustment of all differences existing between the two nations, according 
to the expectation stated in your note to this Department of the 21st. of 
February. If you have, I shall be happy to meet you for that purpose. If 
you have not, it is deemed improper to entertain discussions of the kind in- 
vited by your late notes.- This Government, well acquainted with and 
faithful to its obligations, and respectful to the opinion of an impartial 
world, will continue to pursue a course in relation to the civil war between 
Spain and the Spanish Provinces in America, imposed by the existing laws, 
and prescribed by a just regard to the rights and honor of the United-States. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



36 

Richard Rush, Secretary of State ad interim, to Charles Morris, Commander 
of the United States Frigate " Congress"^ 

[extract] 

Washington, April 25, 18 17. 

Having performed this service, it is the desire of the President that you 
extend your cruise to the Spanish Main. It is important that this govern- 
ment should possess correct information as to the progress of the revolution- 
ary movement in the Spanish Colonies, and of its probable result. It is 
specially with a view to this object that you will cruise along the Main, 
endeavoring to obtain, in every practicable way, all the information that can 
be had upon this subject. It is thought best that you should go as far to the 
east as Margarita and thence proceed westwardly as far as Carthagena, 
looking in at Cumana, Barcelona, Caracas, Guayra, and any other ports or 
places as you coast along. The design however being to obtain as much and 
as precise information of events as may be, comprehending not only the 
actual posture of the countries in that quarter in relation to Spain but their 
known or probable dispositions, you will not consider yourself as restricted to 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 223. The same is printed in American State Papers, 
Foreign Relations, IV, 197. 

2 Regarding Spanish American privateers in ports of the United States. See below, pt. 
xni, docs. 1046 to 1054. 

3 MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 27. 



DOCUMENT 37: APRIL 25, I817 39 

the above limits or places. You will be at liberty to deviate from them as 
your own judgment, acting upon circumstances and looking to the special 
object in view, may point out. Wherever you may touch, you will take care 
to respect the existing authority, the United States holding a neutral attitude 
between Spain and the colonies. 

I have only to add, that the President has great confidence in the discretion 
and effect, so far as the latter may be found practicable, with which you will 
fulfil the instructions given to you. 

With great respect [etc.]. 



37 

James Monroe, President of the United States, to Joel R. Poinsett of Charleston, 

South Carolina^ 

Washington, April 23, 18 17. 

Dear Sir: The progress of the Revolution in the Spanish Provinces, which 
has always been interesting to the U. States, is made much more so, by many 
causes, and particularly by a well founded hope, that it will succeed. It is of 

1 MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 29. Poinsett declined the appointment 
and it was conferred on others. See below, pt. i, docs. 40 and 44, Rush to Rodney and 
Graham, July 18, 18 17, and Adams to Rodney, Graham and Bland, November 21, 1 817. The 
following letter from Poinsett to the Acting Secretary of State contained suggestions for the 
guidance of the Commission (MS. South American Missions, I): 

Charleston, 23^. May 18 17. 
Dear Sir: In compliance with the President's request contained in your letter of 
the 15"". inst. 1 have the honor to enclose to you some letters for the Spanish Colonies, 
which will, I hope, prove useful to the gentleman entrusted with this commission. 

As far as my information extends, there is no government in Mexico, and no reason- 
able hopes of success can be entertained from the disunited efforts of the present com- 
manders, who act independently, and who would rather sacrifice the safety of the cause 
they are engaged in, than resign their command. They support their followers by 
plunder, and the better class of Creoles are united against them, and in some instances 
have volunteered their services to preserve order. Should the Liberates, who are 
numerous in Mexico, and the Creoles of that city unite, the revolution would l3e speedy 
and effectual. It would spread rapidly from the Capital to the extreme provinces; but 
I much doubt the success of a revolution, which begins at the extremities of a Kingdom, 
and has to work its way to such a capital as Mexico. 

In Caraccas there is no government, but the forces are united under the command of 
Bolivar. It would be important to know the connection existing between this Chief 
and the authorities of San Domingo; and the number of negroes in arms. 

In Buenos Ayres it will be well to ascertain the stability of the existing government, 
and the probable policy of their successors. It is rare that the same party remains in 
power two years. It will be necessary to enquire, particularly, into the extent of their 
Authority, as many of the provinces have established separate and independent govern- 
ments. All the Commanders, both civil and military, will be found extremely jealous 
of their dignity, and it will be useful to observe a great deal of form and ceremony in 
treating with them. 

With regard to a revolution in the Brazils, I have always been of opinion that to be 
permanent and successful, it must arise from the interior, where the strength of that 
country resides. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



40 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

the highest importance to obtain correct information, of its actual state, in 
the principal sections of the country, and through an organ, whose talents 
and character, will facilitate, enquiries in the colonies, and give weight to his 
report to this Government, throughout the U. States, in case their Independ- 
ence should be acknowledged. 

To obtain the desired information, it is decided, to send an agent of the 
prominent character stated, in a public ship, along the coast, as far at least as 
Buenos Ayres, with instructions to communicate with the existing govern- 
ments, at different points, in order that all the light practicable, being 
derived, on the progress and prospect of events, this Government may be the 
better enabled to determine on the part, it may be proper for it to take. No 
one has better qualifications for this trust than yourself, and I can assure you 
that your acceptance of it will be particularly gratifying to me. Your 
compensation will be put on a liberal footing. As a public Ship, will be 
ready for this service in a few weeks, I shall be happy to receive your early 
answer to this Letter. 

I am Dear Sir [etc.]. 



38 

Richard Rush, Secretary of State ad interim, to Jose Correa de Serra, Portu- 
guese-Brazilian Minister to the United States ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, May 28, 18 ly. 

It appears that the notification of the blockade of Pernambuco and the 
coast adjacent, inserted in the National Intelligencer of Thursday last, was a 
measure taken by you on full deliberation; and that, on grounds which you 
have particularly explained, you feel yourself called upon to justify it. 

It is with great regret I have the honor to state, that, on a careful examina- 
tion of these grounds, this Government is not at all able to view them in the 
same light. Settled and approved usage, founded upon reasons too familiar 
to be dwelt upon, required, that whatever communication you had to make 
relative to the alleged blockade, and upon whatever foundation it rested, 
should have been made, if at all, to this Government, not promulgated with- 
out its knowledge through the medium of a news-paper. Had you been 
pleased to communicate it to the Government upon any intelligence or 
grounds less than the highest, it would have remained with itself to judge, on 
its own responsibility, whether or not to make it known to its citizens. The 
illustrations deduced from the merit of timely warnings, on the approach of 

1 MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 229. Jose Correa da Serra, minister plenipotenti- 
ary of Portugal to the United States. Transmitted copy of letter of credence to the Secretary 
of State, July 22, 1816. Announced intention to leave United States, November 9, 1820. 



DOCUMENT 39: JULY 18, I817 4I 

natural perils, if of force under any view, are not supposed to hold up just 
analogies to so well regulated a proceeding between nations as the notifica- 
tion of a blockade. It is obvious, that if the Minister of a foreign power can 
pass by the Government and address himself to the country in a case like the 
present, he may do so in any other. Equally obvious are the consequences to 
which such a departure from rules long sanctioned in their application to 
publick Ministers might lead. 

Nor is the justification perceived in the imputed delay in answering your 
note of the 13th of this month. The intervening space from that date until 
the 22d lays no ground for the charge, keeping in mind that other engage- 
ments may be supposed to press upon the time of this Department. I add, 
that I had the honor to inform you verbally of its receipt, and that it had 
been submitted to The President. But most of all I have to remark, that 
the note itself, as well as the one from you of the 20th of this month, to 
which mine of the 22d also replied, treated of matters in relation to which 
none of the duties of this Government rendered it necessary to take any act, 
or express any opinion. An answer was not, therefore, to have been looked 
for as of official obligation; nor is it seen how the anticipation of one, of 
whatever character, could justly have coupled itself with the step taken. 
That which I had the honor to transmit, was founded in the spirit of con- 
ciliation which this Government, is ever desirous to cultivate between the 
two nations, and which it has always been happy in occasions of manifesting 
towards you personally. 

As you now not only communicate to this Government, the existence of 
the blockade in question, but also candidly declare, that it is not founded 
upon any order or intelligence derived from your Government, the informa- 
tion will naturally be respected as resting upon your own responsibility alone, 
without the instructions of your Sovereign. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



39 

Richard Rush, Secretary of State ad interim, to Thomas Sumter, Jr., United 
States Minister to the Portuguese Court in Brazil^ 

[extract] 

Washington, July 18, 1817. 

Sir: This letter will be delivered to you by Caesar Rodney and John 
Graham Esquires, who are visiting several parts of the coast of South Amer- 
ica in the capacity of Commissioners, and are directed to call in the first 
instance at Rio de Janeiro. The objects upon which they go are interesting 
* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 142. 



42 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

and they will unfold them to you in person with all the fulness that is 
necessary. You will doubtless enter cordially into them and feel a disposi- 
tion to advance them in every way that you may find in your power. You 
cannot fail to derive from an intercourse with these gentlemen while at Rio 
de Janeiro, as much gratification as they anticipate from seeing you. I 
also beg leave to commend to your kind notice and attentions their Secretary, 
Mr Brackenridge. 

The events which took place at Pernambuco in March last gave rise to 
some correspondence between this government and the Minister of Portugal. 
Copies of all the Notes that passed are enclosed for your information. The 
correspondence closed with the note from this Department of the 28th of 
May.^ Altho' Mr Correa's conduct was deemed irregular and unjustifiable, 
yet it has not been thought necessary to take any further notice of it than 
that which is presented in the note last mentioned, and none other than 
harmonious intercourse continues to exist between the Government and 
himself. The blockade and other events at Pernambuco, which have be- 
come subsequently known, are not supposed to alter in any degree the views 
that have been taken of the Minister's conduct. 

The President is still engaged in making a tour through part of the 
United States, for the interesting nature and progress of which I must refer 
you to Mr. Rodney and Mr. Graham, from whose conversation upon all 
subjects you will not fail to derive great pleasure. 



40 

Richard Rush, Secretary of State ad interim, to Caesar A. Rodney and John 
Graham, Special Commissioners of the United States to South America^ 

Washington, July 18, 1817. 

Gentlemen: The contest between Spain and the Spanish colonies in the 
southern parts of this continent has been, from its commencement, highly 
interesting, under many views, to the United States. As inhabitants of the 
same hemisphere, it was natural that we should feel a solicitude for the 

^ See above, doc. 38. 

2 MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 34. Caesar A. Rodney, of Delaware; 
John Graham; and Theodorick Bland: The two former instructed as commissioners, July 18, 
1817, to visit Buenos Ayres and Montevideo for obtaining accurate information respecting 
the conflict between Spain and her colonies. Bland added to the commission, November 21, 
1817. Caesar A. Rodney: Commissioned minister plenipotentiary, January 27, 1823, to 
Argentine Confederation. Accredited to Buenos Ayres. Died at his post, June 10, 1824. 
John Graham, of Virginia: Commissioned minister plenipotentiary to Portugal, January 6, 
1819. Accredited to the Portuguese court, residing in Brazil. Left Rio de Janeiro on ac- 
count of illness, June 13, 1820. Died in the United States, July 31, 1820. They were pre- 
vented from departing at the anticipated time but were sent later. See below, pt. i, 
docs. 42 and 44, Adams to Erving, November 11, 181 7, and Adams to Rodney, Graham and 
Bland, November 21, 1817. The last is a supplementary instruction. 



DOCUMENT 40: JULY 18, 1817 43 

welfare of the colonists. It was nevertheless our duty to maintain the 
neutral character with impartiality and allow of no privileges of any kind to 
one party, which were not extended to the other. The government of Spain 
viewing the colonies as in a state of rebellion, has endeavored to impose upon 
foreign powers in their intercourse with them, the conditions applicable to 
such a state. This pretension has not been acceded to by this government, 
which has considered the contest in the light of a civil war, in which the 
parties were equal. An entire conviction exists that the view taken on this 
point has been correct, and that the United States have fully satisfied every 
just claim of Spain. 

In other respects we have been made to feel sensibly the progress of this 
contest. Our vessels have been seized and condemned, our citizens made 
captives and our lawful commerce, even at a distance from the theatre of the 
war, been interrupted. Acting with impartiality towards the parties, we 
have endeavored to secure from each a just return. In whatever quarter 
the authority of Spain was abrogated and an independent government 
erected, it was essential to the security of our rights that we should enjoy its 
friendship. Spain could not impose conditions on other powers incident to 
complete sovereignty in places where she did not maintain it. On this 
principle the United States have sent agents into the Spanish colonies, ad- 
dressed to the existing authority, whether of Spain or of the colony, with 
instructions to cultivate its friendship and secure as far as practicable the 
faithful observance of our rights. 

The contest, by the extension of the revolutionary movement and the 
greater stability which it appears to have acquired, becomes daily of more 
importance to the United States. It is by success that the colonists acquire 
new claims on other powers, which it may comport neither with their in- 
terest nor duty to disregard. Several of the colonies having declared their 
independence and enjoyed it for some years, and the authority of Spain 
being shaken in others, it seems probable that, if the parties be left to them- 
selves, the most permanent political changes will be effected. It therefore 
seems incumbent on the United States to watch the movement in its subse- 
quent steps with particular attention, with a view to pursue such course as a 
just regard for all those considerations which they are bound to respect may 
dictate. 

Under these impressions, the President deems it a duty to obtain, in a 
manner more comprehensive than has heretofore been done, correct informa- 
tion of the actual state of affairs in those colonies. For this purpose he has 
appointed you commissioners, with authority to proceed, in a public ship, 
along the coast of South America, touching at the points where it is probable 
that the most precise and ample knowledge may be gained. The Ontario, 
Captain Biddle, is prepared to receive you on board at New York, and will 
have orders to sail as soon as you are ready to embark. 



44 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

It is the President's desire that you go first to the River la Plate, visiting 
Buenos Ayres and Monte Video. On your way thither, you will call at 
Rio Janeiro delivering to our minister at that court the despatches which will 
be committed to your hands. On your return from Buenos Ayres, you 
will also touch, should circumstances allow it, at St. Salvador and Pernam- 
buco. You will thence proceed to the Spanish Main, going to Margaretta, 
Cumana, Barcelona, Caracas and as far westward as Carthagena, looking in 
at any other convenient ports or places as you coast along. 

In the different provinces or towns which you visit, your attention will be 
usefully, if not primarily, drawn to the following objects. 

1. The form of government established, with the amount of population 
and pecuniary resources and the state and proportion as to numbers intelli- 
gence and wealth of the contending parties, wherever a contest exists. 

2. The extent and organization of the military force on each side, with 
the means open to each of keeping it up. 

t 3. The names and characters of leading men, whether in civil life or as 
military chiefs, whose conduct and opinions shed an influence upon events. 

4. The dispositions that prevail among the public authorities and people 
towards the United States and towards the great nations of Europe, with 
the probability of commercial or other connections being on foot, or desired, 
with either, 

5. The principal articles of commerce, regarding the export and import 
trade. What articles from the United States find the best market? What 
prices do their productions, most useful in the United States, usually bear? 
The duties on exports and imports; are all nations charged the same? 

6. The principal ports and harbors, with the works of defence. 

7. The real prospect, so far as seems justly inferrable from existing events 
and the operation of causes as well moral as physical in all the provinces 
where a struggle is going on, of the final and permanent issue. 

8. The probable durability of the governments that have already been 
established with their credit, and the extent of their authority, in relation 
to adjoining provinces. This remark will be especially applicable to Buenos 
Ayres. If there be any reason to think, that the government established 
there is not likely to be permanent, as to which no opinion is here expressed, 
it will become desirable to ascertain the probable character and policy of 
that which is expected to succeed it. 

9. In Caracas it is understood that there is, at present, no government, 
but that the forces are united under General Bolivar. It might be useful to 
know, whether any and what connection exists between this chief, and the 
chiefs or rulers at St. Domingo; also the number of negroes in arms. 

Your stay at each place will not be longer than is necessary to a fair 
accomplishment of the objects held up. You will see the propriety, in all 
instances, of showing respect to the existing authority or government of 



DOCUMENT 41: SEPTEMBER 29, I817 45 

whatever kind it may be, and of mingling a conciliatory demeanor with a 
strict observance of all established usages. 

The track marked out for your voyage has been deemed the most eligible; 
but you will not consider yourselves as positively restricted to the limits or 
places specified. You will be free to deviate and touch at other places as 
your own judgments, acting upon circumstances and looking to the objects 
in view, may point out. In this respect the commander of the ship will have 
orders to conform to such directions as you may think fit to give him. You 
will however call first at Rio Janeiro, and not go further south than Buenos 
Ayres. At this point it is hoped that you may be able to command the 
means of obtaining useful information as respects Chili and Peru. You 
will also not fail to go to the Spanish Main, returning to the United States 
at as early a day as will comport with the nature and extent of your mission. 
Your observation and enquiries will not be exclusively confined to the heads 
indicated, but take other scope, keeping to the spirit of these instructions, 
as your own view of things upon the spot may suggest. 

It only remains for me to add, that the President has great confidence in 
the ability and discretion with which you will execute, in all things, the 
trust committed to you, and that he anticipates from your report to this 
department such a statement of facts and views as may prove highly useful 
to the nation. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 

41 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to John B. Prevost, Special Agent of 
the United States to Buenos Aires, Chile and Peru ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, September 2q, iSiy. 

Sir: Circumstances having occurred to suspend for the present the execu- 
tion of the purposes upon which you were instructed on the 20. of July last, 
to embark in the Corvette Ontario, Captain Biddle, upon a voyage from 
New-York to Buenos-Ayres, and thence to proceed by land over the South- 
American Continent to Chili and Peru: — The President has seen fit to give 
that vessel another direction ; to point out for you a different mode of con- 
veyance, and to commit additional trusts to your charge. 

In pursuance therefore of directions from him, you are now instructed to 
embark as soon as possible in that vessel; to touch at Rio Janeiro, and there 
deliver to Mr. Sumter the despatches for him which will be delivered to you 
by the Collector of New- York — Thence to proceed in the same vessel round 
Cape Horn, and afterward, to touch at the principal port in Chile (Callao) 
and at Lima in Peru. At each of these ports the vessel is to make a short 
' MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 148. 



46 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

stay to afford you the opportunity of writing to this Department, for which 
it is hoped you will be enabled to find some means of conveyance for your 
letters. . . . The ship is then to return to the United-States, stopping 
at Lima, where you are to disembark, and to remain there and in the adjoin- 
ing Province, to act under the instructions from this Department heretofore 
given, and now in your possession. 
I have the honor [etc.]. 

42 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to George W. Erving, United States 

Minister to Spain ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, November ii, 1817. 

Early in the course of the last Summer Mr Caesar A. Rodney and Mr 
John Graham were appointed ^ by The President Commissioners, to pro- 
ceed and touch at various places on the Eastern Coast of South-America, to 
obtain and report to this Government, correct information with regard to 
the real state of affairs in that Country; to explain to the existing Authorities 
wherever they might land the principles of impartial neutrality between all 
the contending parties in that region which this Government had adopted 
and should continue to pursue, and to make reclamations in behalf of citizens 
of the United-States who had suffered in their persons or property, by the 
agency of persons possessing or pretending authority from the various exist- 
ing Powers whether derived from Spain or from the Provinces in revolt. 
Circumstances of a private nature in the family of one of the Commissioners 
prevented them from sailing at the time that had been intended. They are 
now on the point of embarking together with Mr Theodoric Bland, appointed 
the third Commissioner, and will proceed in the Congress Frigate from 
Annapolis to Buenos-Ayres. The measures above noticed in regard to 
Amelia Island and Galvezton, have formed additional motives to The 
President for directing their immediate departure — To the end that they 
may give such explanations and make such representations of the views of 
this Government in adopting those measures, as the circumstances may 
require. The subject will be noticed in The President's Message to Congress 
at the opening of the ensuing Session; and if any reference to it should occur 
in your communications with the Spanish Government, you will explain it 
upon these grounds which it is not doubted will prove satisfactory to them. 
The Ontario Captain Biddle sailed some weeks since, with Mr. J. B. Prevost, 
going on a similar mission round Cape-Horn. 

I am [etc.]. 

>MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 170. 

*See above, doc. 40, Rush to Rodney and Graham, July 18, 1817. 



DOCUMENT 44: NOVEMBER 21, 1817 47 

43 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of Slate, to Thomas Sumter, United States 
Mijiister to the Portuguese Court in Brazil ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, November ig, 1817. 

These Gentlemen [Messrs. Rodney, Graham and Bland] have been ap- 
pointed Commissioners, to proceed to various parts of South-America, upon 
objects which they will particularly explain to you. They are specially 
recommended to any assistance which it may be in your power to give them, 
in executing the purposes of their mission. Among these purposes is that 
of explaining where it may be necessary, the views of this Government, and 
its policy in relation to the contest between Spain and the South American 
Provinces. In this respect they will enable you to give it is presumed a 
satisfactory answer to the Note of 19 March, from the late Count da Barca, 
founded on a complaint from the Governor of Madeira; unless you shall 
before their arrival have already given an answer. 



44 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Caesar A. Rodyiey, John Graham, 
and Theodorick Bland, Special Commissioners of the United States to 

South America"^ 

Washington, November 21, 1817. 

Gentlemen: In reviewing the Instructions to you from this Department 
of 18 July,^ a copy of which has been furnished to Mr. Bland, the President 
finds little in them, which subsequent occurrences have rendered it necessary 
to alter, but he thinks that some additional observations to you, relating to 
the execution of the trust committed to you, may be not inexpedient. 

Since the circumstances occurred, which prevented the departure of 
Messrs. Rodney, and Graham, at the time first contemplated, another desti- 
nation has been given to the Corvette Ontario, and you are now to embark in 
the Frigate Congress Captain Sinclair, which has been ordered to Annapolis 
to receive you. 

You will as before directed proceed in the first instance to Rio de Janeiro, 
& there deliver the despatches committed to you, for Mr. Sumter. From 
thence you will go to Buenos Ayres, but without touching at St. Salvador 
or Pernambuco. On your return you will visit such places of the Spanish 

* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, V'lII, 174. 
' MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 72. 
' See above, doc. 40, and note 2 thereto. 



48 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

Main, as you shall yourselves deem expedient without being restricted to 
any of the places mentioned in your former Instructions. 

Among the objects, to which it is desired that you will call the attention 
of the existing revolutionary authorities, with whom you may have occasion 
to enter into communication, will be the irregular, injurious, and it is hoped 
unwarranted use of their flags and of Commissions real or pretended derived 
from them. 

You have been made acquainted through the public channels of informa- 
tion, with the lodgments which separate and successive bands of these adven- 
turers have made at Amelia Island and at Galveston. At the former, 
possession was first taken early in the course of last summer, by a party, 
under the command of a British subject named M'Gregor, pretending au- 
thority from Venezuela. He was succeeded by persons disgracing and 
forfeiting by such acts the character of Citizens of the United States, and 
pretending authority from some pretended Government of Florida; and 
they are now by the last accounts received, sharing the fruits of their dep- 
redations, and at the same time contesting the command of the place with 
a Frenchman having under him a body of Blacks from St. Domingo, and 
pretending authority from a Government of Mexico. In the mean time the 
place from its immediate vicinity to the United States, has become a recep- 
tacle for fugitive negroes, for every species of illicit traffic, and for slave- 
trading ships by means of which multitudes of African Blacks are surrepti- 
tiously introduced into the Southern States and Territories, in defiance of 
the Laws. The Revenue, the Morals, and the Peace of the country are so 
seriously menaced and compromitted by this state of things, that the Presi- 
dent after observing the feeble and ineffectual effort made by the Spanish 
Government of Florida, to recover possession of the Island, and the apparent 
inability of Spain to accomplish that recovery, has determined to break up 
this nest of foreign Adventurers, with pretended South American commis- 
sions, but among whom not a single South American name has yet appeared. 
The settlement at Galveston is of the same character and will be treated in 
the same manner. Possession will be taken of Galveston as within the limits 
of the United States; and of Amelia Island, to prevent the repetition of the 
same misuse of it in future, and subject to explanations to be given of the 
motives for the measure to Spain. Should you find that any of the Revolu- 
tionary Governments with whom you may communicate have really au- 
thorized any of these foreign Adventures to take possession of those places, 
you will explain to them that this measure could not be submitted to or 
acquiesced in by the United States; because Galveston is considered as 
within their limits, and Amelia Island is too insignificant in itself and too 
important by its local position in reference to the United States, to be left 
by them in the possession of such persons. 

You will at the same time remonstrate to them in the most serious 



DOCUMENT 44: NOVEMBER 21, I817 49 

manner against the practice itself of issuing indiscriminate Commission, to 
the abandoned and desperate characters of all other nations, whose objects 
in using their authority and their flags, are not to promote the cause of their 
Liberty and Independence, but merely to amass plunder for themselves. 
You will inform them that a citizen of the United States cannot accept and 
act under such a commission, without at once violating the Laws of his 
country, and forfeiting his rights and character as a citizen. That the fitting 
out of privateers in our Ports, to cruize either for or against them is pro- 
hibited by our Laws; that many such privateers have been fitted out in our 
Ports, (unknown to this Government) and though manned and officered 
entirely by people of this country they have captured the property of na- 
tions with whom we are at peace, and have used the flags sometimes of more 
than one of the South American Governments, just as it suited their pur- 
poses to be Officers of Buenos Ayres or of Chili, of Caraccas or of Venezuela. 
That if these clandestine and illegal armaments in our Ports have been made 
with the sanction and by the authority of those Governments, the United 
States have just cause to complain of them, and to claim satisfaction and 
indemnity for all losses and damages which may result to them or to any of 
their citizens from them; and if they have not been thus authorized, it would 
be but justly reasonable that those Governments should not only publicly 
disavow them, but in issuing their commissions and authorizing the use of 
their flags, subject them at least to the restrictions conformable to the Law 
of Nations. That the licentious abuse of their flags by these freebooters, of 
every nation but their own, has an influence unpropitious to the cause of 
their freedom, and tendency to deter other countries from recognizing them 
as regular Governments. 

It is expected that your absence from the United States will be of seven 
or eight months. But if while in the execution of your Instructions at 
Buenos Ayres you should find it expedient, or useful with reference to the 
public service, that one or more of you should proceed over land to Chili, you 
are authorized to act accordingly. Should only one of you go, he will there 
co-operate jointly with Mr. J. B. Prevost, whom it is probable he will find 
already there, and a copy of whose Instructions is herewith furnished. The 
compensation which the President has thought proper to fix for the perform- 
ance of the service assigned to you is of six thousand dollars to each of you; 
from which it is understood you are to defray all your expenses while on 
shore. Stores have been provided for you, for the passage, both outward 
and returning. You will communicate with this Department, by any direct 
opportunity that may occur from any of the Ports at which you may touch. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



50 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

45 

Message of President James Monroe at the commencement oj the first session 
of the Fifteenth Congress of the United States ^ 

[extract] 

December 2, 1817. 

It was anticipated at an early stage that the contest between Spain and the 
colonies would become highly interesting to the United States. It was 
natural that our citizens should sympathize in events which affected their 
neighbors. It seemed probable, also, that the prosecution of the con- 
flict along our coast, and in contiguous countries, would occasionally inter- 
rupt our commerce, and otherwise affect the persons and property of our 
citizens. These anticipations have been realized. Such injuries have been 
received from persons acting under the authority of both the parties, and 
for which redress has, in most instances, been withheld. Through every 
stage of the conflict the United States have maintained an impartial neu- 
trality, giving aid to neither of the parties in men, money, ships, or muni- 
tions of war. They have regarded the contest, not in the light of an ordinary 
insurrection or rebellion, but as a civil war between parties nearly equal, 
having, as to neutral Powers, equal rights. Our ports have been open to 
both ; and every article, the fruit of our soil, or of the industry of our citizens, 
which either was permitted to take, has been equally free to the other. 
Should the colonies establish their independence, it is proper now to state 
that this Government neither seeks nor would accept from them any advan- 
tage in commerce or otherwise which will not be equally open to all other 
nations. The colonies will, in that event, become independent States, free 
from any obligation to or connexion with us, which it may not then be their 
interest to form on the basis of a fair reciprocity. 

In the summer of the present year, an expedition was set on foot against 
East Florida, by persons claiming to act under the authority of some of the 
colonies, who took possession of Amelia island, at the mouth of the St. Mary's 
river, near the boundary of the State of Georgia. As this province lies 
eastward of the Mississippi, and is bounded by the United States and the 
ocean on every side, and has been a subject of negotiation with the Govern- 
ment of Spain as an indemnity for losses by spoliation, or in exchange for 
territory of equal value westward of the Mississippi, (a fact well known to 
the world,) it excited surprise that any countenance should be given to this 
measure by any of the colonies. As it would be difflcult to reconcile it with 
the friendly relations existing between the United States and the colonies, a 
doubt was entertained whether it had been authorized by them, or any of 
them. This doubt has gained strength, by the circumstances which have 
unfolded themselves in the prosecution of the enterprise, which have marked 
it as a mere private, unauthorized adventure. Projected and commenced 
with an incompetent force, reliance seems to have been placed on what 
^American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 129. 



DOCUMENT 46: DECEMBER 5, 1817 5 1 

might be drawn, in defiance of our laws, from within our Hmits; and of late, 
as their resources have failed, it has assumed a more marked character of 
unfriendliness to us; the island being made a channel for the illicit introduc- 
tion of slaves from Africa into the United States, an asylum for fugitive 
slaves from the neighboring States, and a port for smuggling of every kind. 

A similar establishment was made, at an earlier period, by persons of the 
same description in the Gulf of Mexico, at a place called Galvezton, within 
the limits of the United States, as we contend, under the cession of Louisiana. 
This enterprise has been marked, in a more signal manner, by all the objec- 
tionable circumstances which characterized the other, and more particularly 
by the equipment of privateers which have annoyed our commerce, and by 
smuggling. These establishments, if ever sanctioned by any authority 
whatever, which is not believed, have abused their trust, and forfeited all 
claim to consideration. A just regard for the rights and interests of the 
I'nited States required that they should be suppressed, and orders have been 
accordingly issued to that effect. The imperious considerations which 
produced this measure will be explained to the parties whom it may in any 
degree concern. 

To obtain correct information on every subject in which the United States 
are interested, to inspire just sentiments in all persons in authority, on either 
side, of our friendly disposition, so far as it may comport with an impartial 
neutrality, and to secure proper respect to our commerce in every port, and 
from every flag, it has been thought proper to send a ship of war, with three 
distinguished citizens, along the southern coast, with instruction to touch 
at such ports as they may find most expedient for these purposes. With the 
existing authorities, with those in the possession of and exercising the sov- 
ereignty, must the communication be held; from them alone can redress for 
past injuries, committed by those persons acting under them, be obtained; 
by them alone can the commission of the like, in future, be prevented. 



46 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Mr. G. Hyde de Neuville, French 
Minister to the United States ^ 

Washington, December 5, 18 ly. 

Sir: In reference to your Letter of the 12. September- last, and the com- 
munications to this Department with which it was accompanied, I have the 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 261. G. Hyde de Neuville, envoy extraordinary 
and minister plenipotentiary of France to the United States: Forwarded his letter of credence 
from New York, June i8, 1816. Took leave, June 29, 1822. 

^ Not printed in this collection. The note of about six pages and enclosures of about 
thirty report a supposed plot by Napoleonic exiles from France to start an expedition in th"; 
United States to seize control of Mexico and there proclaim the restoration of Joseph Bona- 
parte as King of Spain and the Indies. 



52 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

honour to inform you, that they were received by The President with a just 
sensibihty to the disposition friendly to the Peace and tranquiUty of the 
United-States, with which they were made — That immediate measures were 
taken by the Government to ascertain whether any levies of men were mak- 
ing within the United-States, such as those which you apprehended, and to 
repress any project of unlawful combination which might exist for purposes 
of hostility to the foreign Provinces bordering upon the United-States. I 
have much satisfaction in assuring you that no such levies of men have been 
carried into effect, and that whatever absurd projects may have been in the 
contemplation of one or more individuals, nothing is to be dreaded from them 
in regard to the Peace of the United-States and the due observance of their 
Laws. 

I pray you, Sir, [etc.]. 



47 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Thomas Sumter, United States 
Minister to the Portuguese Court in Brazil ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, December jo, iSiy. 

Sir: Your letter of ist July, with its enclosures, relating to the extraor- 
dinary controversy between the Russian Ambassador Mr. Balk Polefif and 
the Portuguese Government, or rather with the late Count da Barca, has 
been received since I had the honor of writing you last. As the measure of 
furnishing Credentials with the highest diplomatic rank, to a Minister al- 
ready residing at the Court with a character of the second order, was 
ostensibly complimentary, and for the express purpose of doing honor to the 
King of Portugal, it is natural to infer that the coolness with which it was 
received and which appears in the first instance to have given offence to the 
Russian Minister, was occasioned by some cause, not apparent upon the face 
of the papers communicated by either of the parties. It is remarkable that, 
while these indications of misunderstanding between Portugal and Russia 
have been exhibited to the world, the appearances of more than usual good 
intelligence have been manifesting themselves between Russia and Spain. 
If the object of Mr. Balk Poleff's new Credentials had simply been to give 
additional dignity and solemnity to the Emperor's compliments to the King 
upon his accession to the throne, it is hardly to be imagined that it would 
have been so uncourteously received — As a mere question of courtly etiquette 
this dispute can be of little interest to us; but if, as appears probable, it was 
connected with affairs of business between the two Governments, it would 
be very acceptable to have information more particular concerning it. — 
* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 302. 



DOCUMENT 48: JANUARY 27, l8l8 53 

This will be still more desirable, if, as has been represented by some of the 
public Journals abroad, Mr. Balk upon arriving in Europe, and proceeding 
towards St. Petersburgh was stopped on his way by an order from the Em- 
peror to turn back and return to Rio de Janeiro — an order, if the news be 
authentic, either of extreme disapprobation of the Ambassador's conduct, or 
of insulting defiance to the Court upon which he has thus been forced back — • 
There are at the same time movements of military and naval forces between 
Russia and Spain, which have given rise to much speculation in Europe, and 
of which South America, if not even Brazil, has been conjectured to be the 
ultimate object and destination — In that event (for we are as yet left con- 
cerning it to the wide field of conjecture) we hope to receive early and 
authentic intelligence from you. — 



48 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to G. Hyde de Neuville, French Min- 
ister to the United States^ 

Washington, January 27, 1818. 

Sir: Your Notes ^ to this Department of 20 November, and of 15 and 22 
December, and of 17 January have remained until this time unanswered, 
only with the view of communicating to you the result of the measures taken 
by the Government of the United States, in regard to the subjects to which 
they relate. 

In the civil wars which for several years past have subsisted between Spain 
and the Provinces heretofore her Colonies in this Hemisphere, the policy 
deliberately adopted and invariably pursued by the United-States has been 
that of impartial neutrality. It is understood that the Policy of all the 
European Powers, and particularly that of France has been the same. 

As a consequence from this principle, while the Ports of the United-States 
have been open to both the parties to this war, for all the lawful purposes of 
Commerce, the Government of the United-States both in its Legislative and 
Executive Branches, have used every exertion in their power warranted by 
the Laws of Nations, and by our own Constitution, to admonish and restrain 
the Citizens of these States from taking any part in this Contest, incompati- 
ble with the obligations of Neutrality. If in these endeavours they have not 
been entirely successful, the Governments of Europe have not been more so, 
and among the occupants of Amelia-Island, for the piratical purposes com- 
plained of in your Notes, natives or Subjects of France have been included no 
less than Citizens of these States. 

It is known to you Sir, that the Leader of the Party which first occupied 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 278. 

^ Not printed as insutficiently apropos. Their purport is evident from this reply. 



54 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

Amelia-Island in the course of the last Summer, was a British Subject. 
From the time when that Event was first made known to this Government, it 
was perceived that its immediate consequences would be very injurious to the 
Laws, Commerce and Revenue of this Country; and measures of precaution 
adapted to the circumstances were immediately taken, the effect of which was 
partially to give the protection necessary to the Commerce of Nations at 
peace with the United States, endangered by that establishment as well as 
our own. Those measures however not proving effectual while a Port in the 
immediate vicinity of the United States, but not within the reach of their 
Jurisdiction continued to be held by the persons who had wrested the Island 
from the possession of Spain, this Government after having seen the total 
inability of Spain either to defend the place from the assault of the in- 
significant forces by which it was taken, or to recover it from them, found it 
necessary, to take the possession of it into its own hands — Thereby depriving 
those lawless plunderers of every Nation and Colour, of the refuge where they 
had found a shelter, and from whence they had issued to commit their 
depradations upon the peaceful commerce of all Nations, and among the rest 
upon the French vessels mentioned in your Notes — the Confiance — en Dieu, 
the Jean Charles and the Maly. 

It is hoped Sir, that this measure will prove effectual to prevent the 
repetition of such outrages upon the commercial Vessels of France frequent- 
ing our coasts. An intimation in your Note of the 20 November, that due 
attention had not been paid to the demand of the Agent of the French Consul 
at Savannah in regard to the seizure of some of the Merchandize captured in 
the above mentioned Vessels and introduced into the United States, is 
believed to have arisen from misapprehension — The restitution of the 
property could by the Nature of our Institutions be effected only through the 
prosecution of their claims by the original owners or their Agents before 
the ordinary Tribunals — The illness of the Judge of the District Court of the 
United States in Georgia, and that of the District attorney are circumstances 
to be lamented, as having necessarily caused some delay; but which it is 
presumed you will consider as occasions rather of regret than of complaint. 

By your Letter of 22 December it appears that the Captain and another 
man, belonging to the crew of the Privateer which had taken the Maly, were 
at the instance of the French Consul at Charleston arrested upon a charge of 
piracy; but that the Consul has thought proper to desist from the prosecution 
of this charge, upon the advice of legal Counsel, founded upon a supposed 
defect in the 8th. Section of the Law of the U. States in which the crime of 
Piracy is defined — I have had the honour of observing to you, that the 
opinion of this defect, has not received the sanction of the Supreme Court of 
the U. States, the only authority competent to pronounce upon it in the last 
resort — That the crime of Piracy has been more than once prosecuted, and 
punished, under the Section of the Law to which your Letter refers, and that 



DOCUMENT 49: JANUARY 3I, 1818 55 

if the Consul has thought proper in deference to the advice given him, to 
abandon the prosecution of the persons who had captured the Maly, it 
cannot be inferred that he would have failed to obtain their conviction, if he 
had persisted in his pursuit for the execution of the Law. 
Be pleased. Sir, to accept [etc.]. 



49 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Baptis Irvine, Special Agent of the 

United States to Venezuela^ 

[extract] 

Washington, January 31, 1818. 

Among the papers of which copies are furnished you, is a communication" 
rec'd at this dept. in July last, by the course of the mail from Baltimore, and 
appearing to have been transmitted from the Island of Jamaica. It is in 
official form, and announces the re-establishment of the Supreme Govern- 
ment of the Venezuelan Republic, consisting of the Provinces of Barcelona, 
Caraccas, Cumana, Margarita, Merida, Truxillo & Varinas; mentioning Don 
Jos. Cortes Madariaga, as the person charged with the correspondence with 
foreign Governments. This act appears to have been consummated in the 
Island of Margarita, and one of the parties of it is Admiral Brion. No other 
communication has however been rec'd from them, and if credit can be 
given to the very imperfect information from that country which reaches us 
thro' the medium of the public Prints, General Bolivar has refused to ac- 
knowledge this Government, and another constitutional organization has 
taken place, by which the Executive authority is vested in a Council with 
General Bolivar at its head, & of which Brion himself is a member. To the 
Supreme authority, recognized by Brion, however constituted and whereso- 
ever residing, you will make application for the restitution or indemnity due 
to our citizens in these two cases. You will pursue this object with all that 
discretion, moderation, & conciliatory deportment towards the existing 
authority, which would be due to any Government firmly established &. 
universally recognized. But with every proper & respectful deference in 
point of form, it is expected you will maintain with firmness, and it is hoped, 
with effect the rights of the injured sufferers, committed to your charge. 

You will at the same time take suitable occasion, to ask explanations, and 
to make known the sentiments of this Government, with regard to certain 
other proceedings, in which the name of the Venezuelan Republic, has been 
used, & a pretence of authority from its Government, set forth, it is hoped 
altogether without foundation, and in a manner deeply affecting both the 

* MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 95. 

2 See below, pt. vi, doc. 577, the President of Venezuela to the President of the United 
States, May 21, 181 7. 



56 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

rights & the interests of the U. S. You will represent that General M'- 
Gregor came to this country, & enjoyed its hospitality as an individual 
foreigner; that while here, without the permission of this Government, con- 
trary to the laws of nations, and in violation of those of the U. S., he is 
believed to have prepared and fitted out a military expedition against the 
territories of a nation with which we are at peace; to have levied a force, 
and enlisted men within our jurisdiction, and by their means so far to have 
accomplished his purpose as to take forcible possession of Amelia Island, 
situated close upon the borders of this country, and the occupation of which 
for the purposes intended by him, could not but be in a high degree noxious 
to the interests of this Union; that while in possession of the Island, he 
issued public proclamations declaring the purpose of taking possession of the 
whole and of both the Floridas; and issued commissions to vessels secretly 
fitted out and armed in our ports and officered & manned by our citizens, to 
cruize against a nation with which we are at peace; that finding himself 
unable to maintain possession of the Island he abandoned it to some of his 
followers, after which it was occupied by another armed force, under a pre- 
tended authority from Mexico, & became a seat of disorders of a character 
so directly hostile to the U. S., that the President found himself under the 
necessity of taking possession of it in the name of the U. S. It is not ex- 
pected either that the proceedings of M'Gregor, here referred to, will be 
avowed as having been authorized by the Government of Venezuela, or that 
any dissatisfaction will be manifested by them at the occupation of the 
Island by the U. S. Should it however prove otherwise, you will have no 
difficulty in demonstrating that the conduct of M'Gregor was an infraction 
of our neutral rights, of which we have serious cause to complain. Besides 
the Laws of the U. S., for the preservation of our neutrality, I refer you to 
the correspondence between Mr. Jefferson & the Ministers of France & 
Great Britain in the year 1793, in the first volume of the American State 
Papers, for a full and luminous exposition of the rights and obligations of 
neutrality then recognized by this Government and applicable with en- 
creased force to the present occasion, from the sanction of our practice then 
given to the principles generally admitted by the usages of civilized na- 
tions.^ With regard to the Floridas the Messages of the President to 
Congress during their present session, & the Acts of January 181 1 & Feby. 
1813 now published will enable you to explain the views & the policy of the 
United States in relation to them. You will give it distinctly to be under- 
stood that the dispositions of this Government are as friendly towards the 
South Americans, as can be consistent with the obligations of neutrality; 
but that the United States have been for several years in negotiation with 
Spain for the cession of all her remaining rights in those Provinces to them; 

1 See American State Papers, vol. i, pp. 71, 81, 92. (140. Vattel, bk. 3, sec. 104, Wolff 1 174; 
Vattel, bk. 3, sec. 15) pp. 142, 143, 149, 150. 154. These citations are in the manuscript. 



DOCUMENT 49: JANUARY 3I,l8l8 57 

that it has been long an established part of our Laws not to permit them to 
pass into the hands of any other Power; and that those Laws must receive 
their execution. 

Since the suppression of the establishment at Amelia-Island, attempts have 
been made to impress upon the public in this country the belief that the 
Government of the United States were acquainted with and even privy to 
the design of Mac Gregor upon that place, before it was carried into execu- 
tion. That Mac Gregor himself avowed to various persons here that he had 
such a design in contemplation, and that it was thus communicated as a 
project of adventure, to persons connected with the administration may be 
true. But it was never disclosed as a subject upon which their approbation 
was desired or their opinion consulted; nor was it ever stated as involving a 
violation either of the neutrality or the Laws of the Union. No communica- 
tion was ever had between the Government of the U. S. and M 'Gregor, and 
if he or those with whom he connected himself here gave obscure & illusive 
hints of his purpose, in order to ascertain for his information the moment 
when their unequivocal illegality, ascertained by the Government, might 
draw upon him the active enforcement of the Laws, such ambiguous intima- 
tions, far from evincing the connivance of the Executive in his plan, would 
only prove their ignorance of his real designs, and his consciousness of the 
opposition to them which he must encounter, if they should be explicitly 
made known. The same suggestions which imparted his project, to a person 
in the confidence of the President, at the same time led to the idea, that it 
was concerted with the concurrence and favor of the British Government. 
Thus one deception was laid as the foundation for the superstructure of 
another; and while the exposure to this Government of the object, was, in a 
point of view concealing its illegal features, their attention was studiously 
averted from the means of execution, involving the violation of the Laws, 
towards others against which neither direct resistance, nor immediate prep- 
aration could be made. Neither M 'Gregor nor his partizans made it known 
either that the authority by which he was to act, was assumed to be given 
him within our jurisdiction, or that the force with which he was to operate, 
would be levied, within our limits. Had either of these circumstances been 
divulged to this Government, its resistance to them would have been as 
immediate, as its duty to make such resistance would have been indubitable. 

Should any intimation be given to you of a desire that a formal acknowl- 
edgement of the Venezuelan Government should be made by that of the 
United States, you will observe that in the present stage of the conflict, 
that step would be a departure from that system of neutrality, which the 
U. S. have adopted, and which is believed to be as much the interest of the 
South-Americans themselves as of the U. S. You may add that without this 
formal acknowledgement they enjoy all the advantages of a friendly & 
commercial intercourse with us, which they could enjoy with it; and that 



58 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

the effect of such a measure might probably be, without benefiting them, 
to entangle us in disputes with other powers. You may take occasion at 
the same time, in a friendly & respectful manner to suggest that such irregu- 
lar proceedings as those of which you are deputed to complain, as they could 
not be justified by any established and recognized Government, cannot but 
operate as a discouragement to the U. S., and to all other nations of the 
disposition to recognize a new power, in whose name, and under the pretense 
of whose authority such practices are pursued; that they cannot claim the 
rights & prerogatives of independent States, without conforming to the 
duties by which independent States are bound ; that the usurped exercise of 
Sovereign authority by individuals, is the essential character of lawless 
power; and that the practices of pirates are inconsistent with the obligations 
of every constituted State. 

The situation of the country to which you are to proceed, and the state of 
the respective parties to the war, render it uncertain whether you will find 
it expedient to make more than a very transient residence in any one place; 
or to remain long without returning to the U. S. The determination upon 
this subject, will in the first instance be left to your own judgment & discre- 
tion. After obtaining a definitive answer, upon the two claims of restitution 
& indemnity with which you are charged, and making the representations 
herein directed, there may be no public interest of adequate importance to 
require your continuance there any longer; in which case, you will take as 
early an opportunity to return as may be convenient. In the mean time, 
you will collect & transmit to this dept. the most correct information that 
you can obtain, respecting the real state of the country; the relative situation 
& prospects of the Patriot & Royal forces; the present effects & probable 
consequences of the emancipation of the slaves; the population & resources 
of the Provinces in the Venezuelan Confederation ; their views & expectations 
in relation to the other South American Provinces ; their commercial situation 
& prospects, especially with reference to the U. S. & to our commercial 
intercourse with them ; and generally whatever may fall under your observa- 
tion, and the knowledge of which it may be interesting to us to possess. ^ 

I am [etc.]. 

^ Irvine's reports to the Department fill a manuscript volume of several hundred pages, 
about a third consisting of correspondence between him and Bolivar at Angostura chiefly 
regarding rights and claims of United States merchant vessels in view of the pretended 
blockade and his transmitting dispatches to the Department. The rest consists of " Notes 
on Venezuela," a detailed description written after his return. Though interesting, his 
papers are not sufficiently apropos to warrant printing in this collection. An injudicious 
though not entirely incorrect response to his cordial reception, to the effect that the United 
States had "in effect" recognized the independence of Venezuela gave rise to a false im- 
pression. 



DOCUMENT 50: MARCH 25, I818 59 

50 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to President Monroe, for transmission 
to the United States House of Representatives ^ 

Washington, March 25, 18 18. 

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the resolution of the 
House of Representatives of the 5th December, has the honor of submitting 
the documents herewith transmitted, as containing the information possessed 
at this Department requested by that resolution. 

In the communications received from Don Manuel H. de Aguirre, there 
are references to certain conferences between him and the Secretary of State, 
which appear to require some explanation. 

The character in which Mr. Aguirre presented himself was that of a public 
agent from the Government of La Plata, and of private agent from that of 
Chili. His commissions from both simply qualified him as agent. But his 
letter from the Supreme Director (Pueyrredon) to the President of the 
United States requested that he might be received with the consideration due 
to his diplomatic character. He had no commission as a public minister of 
any rank, nor any full power to negotiate as such. Neither the letter of 
which he was the bearer, nor he himself, at his first interviews with the 
Secretary of State, suggested that he was authorized to ask the acknowledg- 
ment of his Government as independent; a circumstance which derived ad- 
ditional weight from the fact that his predecessor, Don Martin Thompson, 
had been dismissed by the Director Pueyrredon, for having transcended his 
powers, of which the letter brought by Mr. Aguirre gave notice to the 
President. 

It was some time after the commencement of the session of Congress that 
he made this demand, as will be seen by the dates of his written communica- 
tions to the Department. In the conferences held with him on that subject, 
among other questions which it naturally suggested were those of the manner 
in which the acknowledgment of his Government, should it be deemed 
advisable, might be made; and what were the territories which he considered 
as forming the state or nation to be recognised. It was observed, that the 
manner in which the United States had been acknowledged as an independent 
Power by France was by a treaty concluded with them, as an existing inde- 
pendent Power; and in which each one of the States then composing the 
Union was distinctly named; that something of the same kind seemed to be 
necessary in the first acknowledgment of a new Government, that some 
definite idea might be formed, not of the precise boundaries, but of the 
general extent of the country thus recognised. He said the Government of 
which he desired the acknowledgment was the country which had, before the 

^American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 173. By a letter of the same date the 
President communicated this and its enclosed documents to the House of Representatives. 



60 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

revolution, been the viceroyalty of La Plata. It was then asked whether 
that did not include Montevideo, and the territory occupied by the Portu- 
guese; the Banda Oriental, understood to be under the government of General 
Artigas; and several provinces still in the undisputed possession of the 
Spanish Government? He said it did; but observed that Artigas, though in 
hostility with the Government of Buenos Ayres, supported, however, the 
cause of independence against Spain; and that the Portuguese could not 
ultimately maintain their possession of Montevideo. It was after this that 
Mr. Aguirre wrote the letter offering to enter into a negotiation for concluding 
a treaty, though admitting that he had no authority to that effect from his 
Government. It may be proper to observe, that the mode of recognition 
by concluding a treaty had not been suggested as the only one practicable 
or usual, but merely as that which had been adopted by France with the 
United States, and as offering the most convenient means of designating the 
extent of the territory acknowledged as a new dominion. 

The remark to Mr. Aguirre, that, if Buenos Ayres should be acknowledged 
as independent, others of the contending provinces would, perhaps, demand 
the same, had particular reference to the Banda Oriental. The inquiry was, 
whether General Artigas might not advance a claim of independence for those 
provinces, conflicting with that of Buenos Ayres, for the whole viceroyalty of 
La Plata. The Portuguese possession of Montevideo was noticed in 
reference to a similar question. 

It should be added, that these observations were connected with others, 
stating the reasons upon which the present acknowledgment of the Govern- 
ment of La Plata, in any mode, was deemed by the President inexpedient, in 
regard as well to their interests as to those of the United States. 



51 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Manuel H. de Aguirre, Argentine 

Agent at Washington ^ 

Washington, April ii, iSiS. 

Sir : I have had the honour of receiving your Note of the 5. instant. You 
suppose me to have stated in the Report to The President, communicated to 
Congress in his Message of 25 March,^ that you had said General Artigas 
supported the cause of the Independence of Spain — But as the Cause of 
Spain in South-America, is not Independence, that would have been an 
absurdity which I neither understood you, nor have represented you as 
asserting. The Cause of Independence of Spai?i in South America, is not the 

1 MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 318. ^ See above, doc. 50. 



DOCUMENT 52: APRIL 20, I818 6I 

Cause of Spain's Independence, but the Cause in opposition to Spain; and 
that is the Cause which I understood you to say General Artegas supported, 
though being at the same time in hostiHty with the Government of Buenos- 
Ayres. 

With regard to the merits of the controversies between the Government of 
Buenos-Ayres and General Artegas, I certainly never expressed, nor do I 
recollect that you expressed to me any opinion. I understood you to say, 
that so far as related to the opposition to Spain, the Government of Buenos- 
Ayres and General Artegas were supporting a common cause. 

I forbear to notice the remarks in your Note, preceding the quotation 
from the Report of the passage which you have understood as conveying an 
idea, directly contrary to that which I intended; being persuaded that you 
also have used expressions, without intending to convey the exceptionable 
meaning of which they are susceptible. 

I have the honour [etc.]. 



52 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to George W. Erving, United States 

Minister to Spain ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, April 20, 18 18. 

From the complexion of the Debates in the House of Representatives 
during the Session of Congress which terminates this day, you will infer the 
great and increasing interest felt in this Country with regard to the Events 
occurring in that part of the American Hemisphere. The part pursued by 
the Government of the United-States in this contest, has been unequivocal 
Neutrality. None of the Revolutionary Governments has yet been formally 
acknowledged; but if that of Buenos Ayres, should maintain the stability 
which it appears to have acquired since the Declaration of Independence of 
9 July 1816 it cannot be long before they will demand that acknowledgment 
of right — and however questionable that right may be now considered; it 
will deserve very seriously the consideration of the European Powers, as 
well as of the United States, how long that acknowledgment can rightfully 
be refused. Since beginning this letter I have received your Despatch No. 
60 of 26 February ,2 enclosing the Memoir of Russia,^ on these South Ameri- 
can affairs. 

' MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 179. 

* See below, pt. xni, doc. 1079. 

' See below, pt. xii, doc. loii, under date, November iT, 1817. 



62 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

53 

John Qtiincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister 

to the United States ^ 

Washington, April 22, 1818. 

Sir: William Davis Robinson, a Citizen of the United-States, landed in 
the Month of April 1816 on the Coast of Vera Cruz, at a place then in the 
possession of the Revolutionists — He proceeded to the city of Tehaucan, 
where he remained Several Months, without ever bearing arms, or accepting 
any Military or other Commission. He left that City the last of July of the 
same year, with the intention of reaching the Sea-Coast, and of embarking 
to return to the United States — Having by various incidents been prevented 
from accomplishing this intention; on the 12th of September 18 16. he volun- 
tarily gave himself up, at the Village of Playa Vicente, to the Commandant 
of the Royal Troops — claiming the benefit of the Royal Amnesty, or Indulto, 
which had then recently been proclaimed and offered to all persons without 
distinction who had been connected with the Insurgents, upon the condition 
of surrendering themselves. He delivered to the same Commandant, a 
Certificate of his birth at Philadelphia, and his Passport as a Citizen of the 
United-States, and claimed the benefit of the Royal Indulto, which was 
promised himself explicitly by the Commandant. He was nevertheless sent 
under a guard of Soldiers to the City of Oaxaca — was there confined several 
months in a Cell in the Convent of St. Domingo — Then transferred to Vera- 
Cruz and imprisoned in the Castle of San Juan de Ulloa — The Government of 
the United States, having in July last been informed of these Circumstances, 
an Instruction was sent to the Minister of the United States at Madrid, to 
make application to your Government for the release of Mr. Robinson — Mr. 
Erving received assurances from Don Jose Pizarro, that no information had 
been received in Spain of Robinson's imprisonment, and he was afterwards 
told by a person from Vera Cruz that Robinson had been allowed the benefit 
of the Indulto, and was to be sent to the United States to be delivered up by 
you to the Government of the United States. 

This Statement was not correct — Mr. Robinson, was embarked as a 
Prisoner in close confinement on board the Spanish Frigate Iphigenia, at 
Vera-Cruz, to be sent to Spain — ^That Ship having by stress of weather 
been compelled to put into the Port of Campeachy, and having been there 
condemned as unseaworthy, Mr. Robinson, was landed there; and on the 
4th of March last, was still kept as a Prisoner, to be sent by some other 
conveyance to Spain. 

I have the honour therefore, to ask your good offices, that such appli- 
cation shall be made as may obtain if possible the release of Mr. Robin- 
son, at Campeachy — a sufficient motive for which will surely be found in 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 321. 



DOCUMENT 55: MAY I9, 1818 63 

the solemn promise of the Royal Indulto, the accompUshment of which 
he is entitled ^o claim. But if the Reclamation to this effect should not 
reach that place in season to effect his liberation there; that you will make 
known to your Government his case, so that he may be immediately dis- 
charged upon his arrival in Spain. 

It appears from the Public Journals, that Eight other American Citizens, 
were in like manner landed as Prisoners from the Frigate Iphigenia, at 
Campeachy, to be sent from thence to Spain — I have to request, Sir, that 
your good office, may be also extended to obtain their release, or satisfac- 
tory proof to this Government of the Justice of their detention. 

I have the honor [etc.] 



54 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister 

to the Uiiited States ^ 

Washington, April 25, 18 18. 

Sir: I have the honour of transmitting to you the Copy of a statement 
received at this Department, from which it appears, that the Ship Beaver- 
and her very valuable cargo, belonging to Citizens of the United-States, 
have been unjustly seized by officers acting under colour of authority from 
your Government, at Talcahuano in South-America. I am directed to 
address you, to demand satisfaction of your Government for these outrages 
upon the persons and property of Citizens of this Nation, and express to you 
the confidence of The President, in your disposition to promote by your 
good offices with your Government, the restitution of the property, and 
satisfaction for the personal injuries of the sufferers. 

I am [etc.]. 



55 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Albert Gallatin, United States 

Minister to France ^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, May ig, 1818. 

By the newspapers and public documents transmitted to you, the extraor- 
dinary interest which has been felt in the contest between Spain and the 

' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 323. 

* See below, pt. V, doc. 449. 

»MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 184. 



64 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

South American Provinces will be disclosed, in the variouF. forms under 
which it has occupied the deliberations of Congress. You wi'l see how it has 
been complicated with our own Spanish relations, by the transactions relating 
to Amelia Island; by the negotiation which Spain has thouj^ht fit, to have the 
appearance of keeping alive, and by the questions incidental to our neu- 
trality in that warfare, which the course of events has frequently pro- 
duced. . . . 

A motion was made in the house of representatives, while the general 
appropriation bill was under consideration to introduce the appropriation of 
an outfit and a year's salary, for a minister to be sent to the provinces of 
La Plata, if the President should think proper to make such an appointment. 
The object of this motion was to obtain the sanction of a legislative opinion, 
in favour of the immediate acknowledgment of the government of Buenos- 
Ayres; but it was rejected by a majority of 115 to 45. Independently of 
the objection to it, that it had the appearance of dictating to the Executive, 
with regard to the execution of its own duties and of manifesting a distrust 
of its favourable disposition to the independence of the colonies, for which 
there was no cause, it was not thought advisable to adopt any measure of 
importance upon the imperfect information then possessed, and the motive 
for declining to act was the stronger, from the circum^stance that three com- 
missioners had been sent to visit several parts of the South-American con- 
tinent, chiefly for the purpose of obtaining more precise and accurate in- 
formation. Despatches have been received from them, dated 4 March, 
immediately after their arrival at Buenos-Ayres. They had touched on their 
way, for a few days, at Rio de Janeiro; where the Spanish minister. Count 
Casa-Flores, appears to have been so much alarm.ed by the suspicion that 
the object of this mission was the formal acknowledgment of the government 
of La Plata, that he thought it his duty to make to Mr. Sumter an official 
communication that he had received an official despatch from the Duke of 
San Carlos, the Spanish ambassador at London, dated the 7th of November 
last, informing him, that the British government had acceded to the proposition 
made by the Spanish government of a general mediation of the powers to obtain 
the pacification of Spanish America, the negotiation of which, it was upon the 
point of being decided, whether it should be at Londo7i or at Madrid. 

This agitation of a Spanish minister, at the bare surmise, of what might 
be the object of the visit of our commissioners to Buenos-Ayres, affords some 
comment upon the reserve, which all the European powers have hitherto 
observed in relation to this affair, towards the United States. No official 
communication of this projected general mediation has been made to the 
government of the United-States, by any one of the powers, who are to 
participate in it; and although the Duke de Richelieu and the Russian 
ambassador both, in conversation with you, admit the importance of the 
United States to the subject, and of the subject to the United States, yet 



DOCUMENT 55: MAY I9, 1818 65 

the former abstains from all official communication to you, of what the allies 
are doing in it, and the latter, apologizes for the silence of his government to 
us, concerning it, on the plea, that being upon punctilious terms with Eng- 
land, they can shew no mark of confidence to us, but by concert with her. 

On the 27th of January last, Mr. Bagot, at the same time when he informed 
us of the proposal of Spain, to Great Britain, to mediate between the United- 
States and Spain, did also by instruction from Lord Castlereagh, state that 
the European Allies were about to interpose in the quarrel between Spain 
and her revolted colonies; and that very shortly a further and full communi- 
cation should be made to us, of what was proposed to be done — with the 
assurance, that Great Britain would not propose or agree to any arrange- 
ment in which the interests of all parties concerned, including those of the 
United States should not be placed on the same foundation. Nearly four 
months have since elapsed; and the promised communication has not been — 
but we have a copy of the Russian answer, dated in November at Moscow, 
to the first proposal, made by Great Britain to the European allies, and 
we know the course which will be pursued by Portugal, in regard to this 
mediation. If the object of this mediation be any other than to promote 
the total independence political and commercial of South-America, we are 
neither desirous of being invited to take a part in it, nor disposed to accept 
the invitation if given. Our policy, in the contest between Spain and her 
colonies has been impartial neutrality. The policy of all the European 
States has been hitherto the same. Is the proposed general mediation to be 
a departure from that line of neutrality? If it is, which side of the contest, 
are the allies to take? — The side of Spain? — on what principle, and by what 
right? As contending parties in a civil war, the South-Americans have 
rights, which other powers are bound to respect as much as the rights of 
Spain; and after having by an avowed neutrality, admitted the existence of 
those rights, upon what principle of justice can the allies, consider them as 
forfeited, or themselves as justifiable in taking side with Spain against 
them? 

There is no discernible motive of justice or of interest, which can induce the 
allied sovereigns to interpose for the restoration of the Spanish colonial 
dominion in South America. There is none even of policy; for if all the 
organized power of Europe is combined, to maintain the authority of each 
Sovereign over his own people, it is hardly supposable that the sober senses 
of the allied cabinets will permit them to extend the application of this 
principle of union to the maintenance of colonial dominion beyond the 
Atlantic and the Equator. 

By the usual principles of international law, the state of neutrality, recog- 
nizes the cause of both parties to the contest, as jtist — that is, it avoids all 
consideration of the merits of the contest — But when abandoning that 
neutrality, a nation takes one side, in a war of other parties, the first question 



66 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

to be settled is the justice of the cause to be assumed. If the European 
allies, are to take side with Spain, to reduce her South-American colonies 
to submission, we trust they will make some previous enquiry into the justice 
of the cause they are to undertake. As neutrals we are not required to 
decide the question of justice. We are sure we should not find it on the side 
of Spain. 

We incline to the belief that on a full examination of the subject, the allies 
will not deem it advisable, to interpose in this contest, by any application 
of force. If they advise the South Americans, to place themselves again 
under the Spanish government, it is not probable their advice will be fol- 
lowed. What motives can be adduced to make the Spanish government 
acceptable to them? Wherever Spain can maintain her own authority she 
will not need the co-operation of the allies — Where she cannot exact obedi- 
ence, what value can be set upon her protection? 

The situation of these Countries has thrown them open to commercial 
intercourse with other nations, and among the rest with these United-States. 
This state of things has existed several years, and cannot now be changed 
without materially affecting our interests. You will take occasion not by 
formal official communication, but verbally as the opportunity may present 
itself to let the Duke de Richelieu understand, that we think the European 
allies would act but a just and friendly part towards the United States, by a 
free and unreserved communication to us, of what they do, or intend to do in 
the affair of Spain and South America — That it is our earnest desire to pursue 
a line of policy, at once just to both the parties in that contest, and har- 
monious with that of the European allies — That we must know their sys- 
tem, in order to shape our own measures accordingly; but that we do not 
wish to join them in any plan of interference between the parties ; and above 
all that we can neither accede to nor approve of any interference to restore 
any part of the Spanish supremacy, in any of the South-American Provinces. 

I have the honour [etc.]. 



56 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Richard Rush, United States 

Minister to Great Britain ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, May 20, 1818. 

... As it was not anticipated that any disposition existed in the British 

government, to start questions of title with us, on the borders of the South 

Sea, we could have no possible motive for reserve or concealment with regard 

to the expedition of the Ontario. In suggesting these ideas to Lord Castle- 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 189. 



DOCUMENT 56: MAY 20, I818 67 

reagh, rather in conversation than in any more formal manner, it may be 
proper to remark the minuteness of the present interest either to Great-Britain 
or the United States, involved in this concern ; and the unwilHngness for that 
reason of this government, to include it among the objects of serious discus- 
sion with them — At the same time you might give him to understand, though 
not unless in a manner to avoid every thing offensive in the suggestion ; that 
from the nature of things, if in the course of future events, it should ever 
become an object of serious importance to the United States, it can scarcely 
be supposed that Great Britain would find it useful or advisable to resist 
their claim to possession by systematic opposition. If the United States 
leave her in undisturbed enjoyment of all her holds upon Europe, Asia, and 
Africa, with all her actual possessions in this hemisphere, we may very 
fairly expect that she will not think it consistent either with a wise or a 
friendly policy, to watch with eyes of jealousy and alarm, every possibility 
of extension to our natural dominion in North America, which she can have 
no solid interest to prevent, until all possibility of her preventing it shall 
have vanished. 

This circumstance will afford also a very suitable occasion for opening to 
the British government, the wish of the President, for a frank, candid, and 
unreserved mutual communication of the views of policy entertained by 
each party, upon objects of serious interest to both ; among which the affairs 
of South-America, are preeminently deserving of attention — The reserve 
with which it appears from your number 11.^ that every thing done by the 
European allies on this subject, has been withheld from you, is the more 
remarkable, by the consideration, that the Russian Ambassador at Paris, 
has alledged to Mr Gallatin, the necessity under which his government felt 
itself of not being more communicative without the concurrence of England, 
as an apology for a like reserve on their part. To England therefore it is 
attributed by her allies. — On the 27th of January last, Mr Bagot, in com- 
municating the request of Spain, that Great-Britain would undertake the 
mediation between her and us, at the same time gave us an assurance from 
Lord Castlereagh that a full communication should very shortly be made to 
us, of the whole proceedings of the European allies in this affair of South- 
America. Not a line upon the subject has since then been received by Mr 
Bagot, and a mere accident has put us in possession of an official communica 
tion from the Duke of San Carlos to the Spanish Minister at Rio Janeiro, 
written in November last, and announcing that Great-Britain had acceded to 
the proposal of Spain, that there should be a general mediation of the Euro- 
pean Alliance for the pacification of the Spanish Colonies, and that it was 
then to be immediately determined, whether the neg6tiation should be held 
at London, or at Madrid. — This communication was made with great 
earnestness by Count Casa-Flores to Mr Sumter, on the mere entrance of 
^ See Rush to Adams, March 21, 1818, pt. vni, doc. 762. 



68 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

the Congress frigate, with our commissioners, to South-America, at Rio de 
Janeiro. That Spanish Minister, apprehensive that the object of our 
Mission was to acknowledge the Independence of the Government of Buenos- 
Ayres, appears to have supposed that this critical disclosure of the intention 
of the Allies, would have been a sufficient inducement for our Commissioners 
to retrace their steps, and instead of proceeding to Buenos-Ayres, to return 
immediately home. — His alarm was premature. But among the reflexions 
suggested by this incident, is, the importance to the European Alliance, as 
well as to the United-States, that this Government should be frankly, and 
candidly, and fully informed of what the allies do, and of what they intend 
to do with regard to South-America— Hitherto the policy of Europe, and 
that of the United States in this matter has been the same, Neutrality. — It 
cannot have escaped the recollection of Lord Castlereagh, how often he has 
been assured of the wish of this Government to proceed in relation to South- 
American affairs, in good understanding and harmony with Great-Britain; 
most especially so long as their mutual policy should be neutrality — He will 
probably recollect his having observed that in their idea of neutrality, the 
non-acknowledgment of the Independence of the Colonies was an essential 
point; which so long as their Independence is the precise question of the war, 
is undoubtedly true. But it is also true that the non-acknowledgment of 
the Colonial Supremacy of Spain, during the contest, is equally essential to 
Neutrality. The proclamation of the Prince Regent, prohibiting British 
Subjects from serving on either side in this war, is a signal acknowledgment 
of this principle, and a plain admission of the obligation of neutral duties, 
as well towards the South-Americans as towards Spain — Now the first point 
upon which we desire and think ourselves entitled to explicit information 
from the Alliance is, whether their plan of mediation, and of pacification, 
proceeds upon the basis of neutrality. If so, the allies are pledged to take no 
part against the South-Americans — If not, upon what principle of right will 
the allies, upon what principle will especially Great-Britain, depart from the 
neutrality which she has observed and proclaimed? — If the plan of pacifica- 
tion is to be founded upon the basis of neutrality, it must be oftered to the 
free acceptance of the South Americans, without any pretence or intention 
of compulsion — We think there is no prospect that any such proposal to 
them will be successful, even if it should be backed by the new armament 
and the Russian fleet lately purchased by Spain — From this transaction, as 
well as from some other indications, among which is the purport of the 
Memorial, from Moscow, dated the 17th of November 1817^ to serve for 
Instructions to the Russian Ministers at the Several allied Courts, the dis- 
position of Russia to say the least appears to incline strongly against the 
South-Americans — The substance of that Memorial is an exhortation to 
Spain by certain territorial concessions to Portugal, on the Rio de la Plata, 
to secure the co-operation of the Government of Brazil, against the Soiith- 

^See below, pt. xii, doc. loii. 



DOCUMENT 56: MAY 20, I818 69 

American Insurgents; and then with the support of the whole European 
alliance, to offer certain privileges to the South-Americans, as the condition 
of their return to subjection. It does not however contemplate the exercise 
of force, on the part of the allies, but intimates that the fate of South- 
America, may be settled by General Treaties, like those of Vienna for the 
abolition of the Slave Trade. This memorial refers to one previously 
received from the British cabinet; and alludes to certain conditions, upon 
which they proposed that the interposition of the allies should be granted — 
and to other particulars in the British memorial, involving the questions of 
armistice, co-operation, guarantee, and neutrality which naturally arose 
from the subject — All these, the Russian memorial sets aside, as 
objects of a subordinate nature, approving however a remark of the Spanish 
Government, that the term armistice, might have a dangerous impression 
upon the insurgent South-Americans. 

It is hoped that the free communication promised by Lord Castlereagh, 
through Mr. Bagot, will have been forwarded from England before you 
receive this letter. But should the reserve towards you, noticed in your 
number 11.^ on South American concerns, be still continued, you will take 
occasion to remind Lord Castlereagh, of this promise, remarking the satisfac- 
tion which it gave to the President, and the entire confidence with which he 
is expecting its fulfilment. You will observe that if the European alliance, 
are undertaking jointly to arrange the affairs of Spain and South-America, 
the United-States have so deep an interest in the result, that it will be no 
more than justice to them on the part of the alliance, to give them clear, 
explicit and immediate notice, not only of their acts, but of their intentions — 
not only of their final decisions, but of the propositions of each of their 
members. If they do not think proper to consult the United-States, before 
coming to their conclusions, they will of course expect that the United- 
States, will come to their conclusions, without consulting them. What we 
ask, and what we promise, is immediate notice of what is done or intended 
to be done. You will at the same time bear in mind, and if the occasion 
should be given by any intimation of a disposition to invite the United- 
States, to take a part in the negotiation, you will let it be known that we 
have no desire to participate in it; and above all that we will join in no plan 
of pacification founded on any other basis than that of the entire Independ- 
ence of the South-Americans. 

It is presumed that this will very soon be, if it is not already the real 
policy of Great-Britain; however, in deference to the powerful members of 
the European alliance, she may acquiesce in the project of a compromise 
under the sanction of the alliance, between political resubjugation, and 
commercial liberty or privileges. We believe this compromise will be found 
utterly impracticable, at least as a permanent establishment; and we con- 
^ See below, pt. vni, doc. 762, Rush to Adams, March 21, 1818. 



70 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

jecture that the British Cabinet have already made up their minds to the 
total Independence of South-America, placing little reliance on the issue of 
this joint negotiation. When they have satisfied their sense of duty to their 
ties of amity with Spain, it is supposed they will soon discover the great 
interest of Great-Britain in the total Independence of Spanish America, and 
will promote that event, just so far as their obligations towards Spain will 
permit. The time is probably not remote, when the acknowledgment of the 
South-American Independence, will be an act of friendship towards Spain 
herself. — When it will be kindness to her, to put an end to that self-delusion 
under which she is wasting all the remnant of her resources in a war, infamous 
by the atrocities with which it is carried on, and utterly hopeless of success. 
It may be an interesting object of your attention, to watch the moment when 
this idea will become prevalent in the British Councils, and to encourage 
any disposition which may consequently be manifested to a more perfect 
concert of measures between the United-States and Great-Britain towards 
that end; the total Independence of the Spanish South-American Provinces. 
Among the symptoms of the approach of that period, we cannot overlook, 
the sentiments avowed by Lord Castlereagh, in Parliament, in his answer to 
some observations of Mr. Lyttleton, in the debate upon the late Slave Trade 
Abolition Treaty with Spain — The policy which he in that Speech recom- 
mends of throwing open all the gates of commerce, and the universal appro- 
bation with which it was received, shew the direction in which the current 
of opinion is running; and we may fairly hope will find its application, not 
only in all the questions relating to South-America, but also in the commer- 
cial arrangements which must soon be resumed between us and Great- 
Britain — I shall, in another letter, make known to you the President's views 
on this subject, and in the mean time, remain, [etc.]. 



57 

John Qidncy Adams, Secretary of State, to Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister 

to the United States^ 

Washington, June 2, 18 18. 

Sir: In the Letter which I had the honour of addressing to you on the 
22d of April last,2 in behalf of William D. Robinson, then detained as a 
Prisoner at Campeachy, landed from the Frigate Iphigenia, it was mentioned 
that Eight other Persons, Citizens of the United-States were confined 
with him and under similar circumstances. I requested your good offices, 
in behalf of them all — Information has since then been received, at this 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 326. ^ See above, doc. 53. 



DOCUMENT 58: JUNE 28, 1818 7 1 

Department, that among them was William Thompson, who served with 
reputation as an officer in the army of the United States, during their late 
war with Great-Britain; and who having landed on the coast of Mexico 
in the Year 181 7 — without joining in any act of hostility against Spain 
had embarked on board of an American vessel at Mariana Bar, for the 
purpose of returning to the United States; when he was captured by a 
Spanish Frigate and treated as a Prisoner — Having made his escape from 
that Ship to the Shore, he took refuge in a fort, from whence he surrendered 
himself on the express condition of being restored to Liberty — This Con- 
dition was for some time complied with; but after having been ten days 
at large he was again forcibly seized, sent far into the interior of the Coun- 
try, cast into a Dungeon and there confined five months, after which he 
was transported, to be removed to Spain; and very recently, was confined 
in the Moro Castle at the Havana expecting very shortly to be sent from 
thence to Cadiz. 

For him and his fellow-sufferers, one of whom is of the name of La 
Rogue, I solicit again the interposition of your good offices with your Gov- 
ernment; and especially that in consideration of the promises made to 
them in the name of His Majesty the King of Spain; they may be imme- 
diately liberated on their arrival in that Kingdom. 

I am [etc.]. 



58 

John Qtdncy Adams, Secretary of State, to George W. Campbell, United States 

Minister to Russia^ 

[extract] 

Washington, June 28, 1818. 

. . . The influence of these Principles may account for the part which the 
Emperor of Russia has hitherto taken in the quarrel which has arisen between 
Spain and Portugal from the occupation by the latter of Montevideo, 
and for the sentiments which he has manifested with regard to the con- 
test between Spain and her American Colonics. 

The Portuguese Government of Brazil took Montevideo and the Eastern 
Banks of the River La Plata, from the possession not of Spain, but of the 
Revolutionary South-Americans who had cast off the authority of the 
Spanish Monarchy. Spain unable to defend herself either against her 

'MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 211. George W. Campbell, of 
Tennessee: Commissioned envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Russia, 
April 16, 1 818. Took leave July 5, 1820. Was instructed, June 28, 1818, to stop at Copen- 
hagen and endeavor to procure a satisfactory adjustment of the claims growing out of the 
spoliations committed under the Danish flag on the commerce of the United States. 



72 PART 1 : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

revolted Subjects or against the Brazilian invasion, immediately appealed 
for support, to the European Alliance, against the attack of Portugal. The 
European AlHance, apparently not reflecting that they could not interfere 
in this affair, without making themselves parties, both to the controversy 
between Spain and Portugal, and to that between Spain and her Colonies, 
took up the cause of Spain with a decision equally precipitate and per- 
emptory; offered their Mediation to Portugal, with high encomiums upon 
the moderation and magnanimity of Spain in asking for it, and with un- 
qualified menaces that if Portugal should decline their Mediation, and 
withhold the explanations which they demanded, they would throw the 
whole weight of their Power on the side of Spain. Portugal accepted the 
Mediation and gave the explanations — And although She had old preten- 
sions to the Territory which She had occupied, and an unsettled claim for 
the restoration of Olivenza in Europe, she offered to waive all these demands, 
and to restore Montevideo to Spain whenever Spain should be in a con- 
dition to receive it, that is, when she should have subdued the Revolution 
in the Provinces of La Plata. Spain utterly unable to comply with this 
condition, without which She saw that her demand upon Portugal for the 
restoration of Montevideo was not only nugatory but ridiculous, was now 
reduced to the humiliation of imploring the Mediation of the European 
Alliance, between her and her revolted Colonies; or in other words of asking 
the aid of the Allied Force to recover her authority over her American 
Dominions. 

The Emperor of Russia, who as the Conservator of the Peace of Europe 
had already sided with Spain against the aggression of Portugal, seems 
now to have taken the same bias against the Colonies, as the Restorer of 
what he considers legitimate authority. Having no immediate interests 
of his own, involved in the Question, he appears to have viewed it only 
as a Question of Supremacy and Obedience, between the Sovereign and 
his Subjects; and to have taken it for granted that the Sovereign must 
have the right, and the Subjects the wrong of the cause. But Great- 
Britain, the other efficient Member of the Alliance, had a great and power- 
ful interest of her own to operate upon her consideration of the case. The 
Revolution in South-America had opened a new World to her Commerce, 
which the restoration of the Spanish Colonial Dominion, would again close 
against her. Her Cabinet therefore devised a middle term, a compromise 
between Legitimacy and Traffic; a project by which the Political Supremacy 
of Spain should be restored, but under which the Spanish Colonies should 
enjoy Commercial Freedom, and intercourse with the rest of the World. 
She admits all the pretensions of Legitimacy until they come in contact 
with her own Interest; and then She becomes the patroness of liberal prin- 
ciple, and colonial emancipation. 

In the correspondence between the European Allies which has hitherto 



DOCUMENT 58: JUNE 28, 1818 73 

taken place on this subject we have seen only the Memoir of the Russian 
Cabinet, dated at Moscow in November 181 7, from which it would seem 
that the Russian Project is a compromise between Spain and Portugal, 
and then a co-operation between them to reduce the South-Americans to 
submission. The Memoir speaks in vague and general terms of certain 
favours or privileges to be promised and secured to the Colonists; but its 
general Import shews the design of restoring the entire authority of Spain. 

It is remarkable that the European Allies have hitherto withheld from 
the Government of the United-States all their proceedings on this intended 
Mediation between Spain and her Colonies. That they had acceded to the 
request of Spain to that effect, we should know only by unauthenticated 
rumour, but for the accident of our Commissioners to South-America having 
touched at Rio de Janeiro. The Spanish Minister in a moment of alarm, 
lest the object of their Mission should be to recognize the Government of 
Buenos-Ayres, and seemingly with the hope of intimidating them from pro- 
ceeding, made a formal disclosure to Mr. Sumter ^ of this purposed inter- 
ference of the European Alliance. In January last, Mr. Bagot by Instruc- 
tion from Lord Castlereagh, informed me, that he expected very shortly to 
make to us a full communication of their proceedings in this concern, but 
we have to this day, heard no further from him of it. There is some reason 
to believe that nothing decisive will be agreed upon, until the meeting of 
Sovereigns, expected to be held in the course of the present Summer, and 
then ulterior measures may probably depend on the Expedition to be fitted 
out from Cadiz of the Ships of War lately sold by The Emperor of Russia to 
Spain. 

At the time of your arrival at St. Petersburg, it is probable that The Em- 
peror will have returned from his excursion ; and it will be among the most 
interesting objects of your enquiry, to ascertain the results of that meeting. 
Perhaps it will no longer be deemed necessary by the Allies, to withhold from 
this Government what they have done, and what they intend, in relation to 
the affairs of Spain and South-America. Instructions have been forwarded 
to Mr. Gallatin and to Mr. Rush,^ to give the French and English Cabinets 
informally to understand that the Interests of this Nation are so deeply con- 
cerned, and the feelings of the Country are so much excited, on this subject, 
that we have a just claim to be informed of the intentions as well as the acts 
of the European Alliance concerning it — ^That our Policy hitherto, has like 
that of the European Powers been Neutrality between Spain and the Colo- 
nies — That we earnestly wish to pursue a course for the future, in harmony 
with that of the Allies; but that we will not participate in, and cannot ap- 
prove any interposition of other Powers, unless it be to promote the total 
Independence, political and commercial, of the Colonies — That we believe 

' See above, doc. 55, Adams to Gallatin, May 19, 1818. 

* See above, docs. 55 and 56, Adams to Gallatin, May 19, 1818; and Adams to Rush, 
May 20, 1818. 



74 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

it must eventually come to this result, and that it is rendering no service to 
either of the parties to endeavour to prevent or to retard it. In your inter- 
view with the Russian Ministry it may be proper that you should express 
similar Sentiments to them; avoiding however all animadversion which 
might be understood as censuring the part taken by the Emperor, in favour 
of Spain. 

It is not unlikely that Spain in her general recurrence to the Allies, to sup- 
port her against all her Adversaries and to extricate her from all her difficul- 
ties, may have resorted to them, and particularly to The Emperor of Russia, 
for countenance, in her differences with the United-States. 



59 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Richard Rush, United States 

Minister to Great Britain ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, July 30, 1818. 

The Congress Frigate has returned with two of the Commissioners who 
went to Buenos-Ayres. Judge Bland proceeded to Chili. Their unanimous 
opinion is that the resubjugation of the Provinces of La Plata, to Spain is 
impossible. Of their internal condition the aspect is more equivocal. 



60 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Richard Rush, United States 

Minister to Great Britain^ 

[extract] 

Washington, August is, iSiS. 

Referring you to my late Letters on the subject of South-American 
Affairs, I am now directed to enquire what part you think the British Gov- 
ernment will take in regard to the dispute between Spain and her Colonies, 
and in what light they will view an acknowledgment of the Independence 
of the Colonies by the United-States? Whether they will view it as an act 
of hostility to Spain, and in case Spain should declare War against us, in 
consequence, whether Great-Britain will take part with her in it? 

I am [etc.]. 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VI 11, 235. ^ Ibid., 246. 



DOCUMEXT 63: AUGUST 24, 1818 75 

61 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Albert Gallatin, United Stales 

Minister to France^ 

Washington, August 20, 18 18. 

Sir: Referring you to my late Letters on the subject of South-American 
Affairs, I am now directed to enquire what part you think the French Gov- 
ernment will take in regard to the dispute between Spain and her Colonies, 
and in what light they will view an acknowledgment of the Independence 
of the Colonies by the United-States? Whether they will view it as an act 
of hostility to Spain, and in case Spain should declare War against us, in 
consequence, whether France will take part with her in it. 

I am [etc.]. 



62 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to George W. Campbell, United States 

Minister to Russia^ 

Washington, August 20, 18 18. 

Sir: Referring you to your Instructions on the subject of South-American 
Affairs, I am now directed to enquire what part you think the Russian Gov- 
ernment will take in regard to the dispute between Spain and her Colonies, 
and in what light they will view an acknowledgment of the Independence of 
the Colonies by the United-States? W^hether they will view it as an act of 
hostility to Spain, and in case Spain should declare W^ar against us, in conse- 
quence, whether Russia will take part with her in it. 

I am [etc.]. 



63 

Jolm Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister 

to the United States^ 

[extract] 

Washington, August 24, 181 8. 

Sir: I have received your letters of the 27th ulto.' and of the 5th Instant 
with their respective enclosures, all of which have been laid before The 
President. — With regard to the two Vessels alledged to have been equipped 
at New York for the purpose of cruizing, under the flag of Buenos Ayres, 

^ MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 247. 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 334. 

* See below, pt. xiii, doc. 1084. 



76 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

against Spanish subjects, the result of the examination which has taken place 
before a Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, has doubtless 
convinced you that no prosecution commenced by the Government of the 
United States, against the persons charged with a violation of their laws and 
their neutrality could have been necessary or useful to you, no transgression 
of the law having been proved against them. 



64 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Manuel H. de Aguirre, Argentine 

Agent at Washington^ 

Washington, August 27, 18 18. 

Sir: Your letter of the loth Instant has been laid before The President 
who has directed me to inform you that The Executive Administration is 
not authorized to make the purchase of the two ships which have been built 
under your direction at New York and which you now propose for sale. — 

From the time when the civil war between Spain and the Spanish Colonies 
in South America commenced, it has been the declared policy of the United 
States, in strict conformity to their existing laws, to observe between the 
Parties an impartial neutrality. — They have considered it as a civil war in 
which, as a foreign nation, they were authorized to allow to the parties en- 
gaged in it equal rights, which equality the colonies have invariably enjoyed 
in the United States. — In the month of July 1816, The Congress assembled 
at Tucuman, issued a declaration of Independence for the Provinces of 
La Plata, including as you have heretofore stated, all the Provinces previ- 
ously comprehended within the Vice Royalty of that name. — 'From that 
period the United States have considered the question of that Independence 
as the precise question and object of the war. — ^The President is of opinion 
that Buenos Ayres has afforded strong proof of its ability to maintain its 
Independence, a sentiment which, he is persuaded, will daily gain strength 
with the powers of Europe, especially should the same career of good fortune 
continue in its favor. — -In deciding the question respecting the Independence 
of Buenos Ayres many circumstances claim attention, in regard to the 
colonies as well as to the United States, which make it necessary that he 
should move in it with caution. — Without mentioning those relating to the 
United States, which he is bound to weigh, it is proper to notice one in regard 
to the colonies, which presents a serious difficulty. — You have requested the 
recognition of the Independence of the Government of Buenos Ayres, as 
Supreme over the Provinces of La Plata, while Monte Video, the Banda Ori- 
ental and Paraguay are not only possessed in fact by others but under Gov- 
1 MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 337. 



DOCUMENT 64: AUGUST 27, l8l8 77 

ernments disclaiming all dependence upon Buenos Ayres, no less than upon 
Spain. 

The Government of the United States have extended to the people of 
Buenos Ayres all the advantages of a friendly intercourse which are enjoyed 
by other nations and every mark of friendship and good will which were 
compatible with a fair neutrality. — Besides all the benefits of a free Com- 
merce and of national hospitality, and the admission of their Vessels into 
our Ports, the Agents of Buenos Ayres have, though not recognized in form, 
had the freest communication with The Administration, and have received 
every attention to their representations which could hav^e been given to the 
accredited Officers of any Independent Power. — No person has ever pre- 
sented himself from your Government wnth the credentials or Commission 
of a public Minister. — Those which you have exhibited give you the express 
character of Agent only; which neither by the Laws of Nations, nor by those 
of the United States, confers the priviledge of exemptio;! from personal 
arrest. — That you have been, as mentioned in your letter, subjected to the 
inconvenience of such an arrest is sincerely regretted by The President, but 
is a circumstance which he had no power to prevent. — By the nature of our 
Constitution, the Supreme Executive possessing no authority to dispense 
with the operation of the laws, except in cases prescribed by the laws them- 
selves. — This observation appears to be the more deserving of your considera- 
tion as you mention, as your motive for communicating to the acting Secre- 
tary of State at the time of your arrival in this Country in July 1817, the 
object of your Agency — the building of a number of Vessels of war for the 
Governments of Buenos Ayres and Chili — namely that you believed The 
President had a discretionary power to suspend the laws against fitting out, 
equipping and arming in our Ports, Vessels of War, for the belligerent pur- 
poses of other powers. — Of the conversation which passed between you and 
the then acting Secretary of State a statement has been drawn up by him, 
a copy of which is herewith enclosed. — He informed you, that to maintain 
the neutral obligations of the United States, the Laws prohibited the arming 
of Vessels in our Ports for the purpose of committing hostilities against any 
nation with which they were at Peace, and also prohibited our Citizens from 
enlisting or being enlisted within the territory or Jurisdiction of the United 
States in the service of any foreign State, as a soldier or as a marine or 
Seaman on board of any Vessel of War, from accepting and exercising any 
Commission, but that Vessels even suited for warlike purposes, and arms 
and ammunition of every kind, might be purchased within our Country as 
articles of merchandize by either of the belligerent parties, without infringe- 
ment of our laws or neutrality. — How far this condition of our laws was 
compatible with the practical execution of the Commission with which you 
were charged, you were to judge, and in the case of doubts entertained by 
yourself, you were advised to consult the opinions of Council learned in the 



78 /{.^ ■ PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

law, from any of whom you might obtain information under which your 
course of proceeding would be correct and safe. — But that the Executive 
possessed no power to dispense with the Execution of the laws, and was on 
the contrary bound by his Official duty and his oath to take care that they 
should be faithfully executed, — On the 14th of November last I had the 
honor of receiving a note from you in which after referring to this previous 
conversation with my Predecessor, you stated that you had proceeded to 
carry into immediate execution the orders of your Government upon the 
terms of that conversation, but that finding it impossible to conduct the 
business, as had been your desire, with secresy, while you were engaged in 
the execution of formal contracts, an act of Congress was presented to you, 
prohibiting under heavy penalties, all persons from fitting out Vessels of the 
description of those you had ordered to be built at New York and which 
must consequently be unable to proceed to their destination — and you 
requested of me information on these points. Through the medium of two 
of the Commissioners then about to proceed to South America, you were 
again reminded that the Secretary of State could not with propriety draw 
the line or define the boundary which you should not pass. — That the inter- 
pretation and exposition of the laws, under our free institutions, belonged 
peculiarly to the judiciary and that if, as a stranger, unacquainted with our 
legal provisions, you wanted any advice on this subject, there were pro- 
fessional men of eminence in every State to whom in common with others, 
you might recur for their opinion. — It was understood that you were fully 
satisfied with this explanation. — You have, therefore constantly been aware 
of the necessity of proceeding in such manner in executing the orders of your 
Government to avoid violating the laws of the United States and although 
it has not been possible to extend to you the priviledge of exemption from 
arrest (an exemption not enjoyed by the President of the United States 
himself, in his individual capacity) yet you have all the benefit of those laws, 
which are the protection of the rights and personal liberties of our own 
Citizens. — Although you had built and equipped and fitted for Sea and 
manned, two Vessels suitable for purposes of War, yet as no proof was 
adduced that you had armed them, you were immediately liberated and 
discharged by the decision of the Judge of the Supreme Court, before whom 
the case was brought. — It is yet impossible for me to say that the execution 
of the orders of your Government is impracticable; but the Government of 
the United States can no more countenance or participate in any expedient 
to evade the intention of the laws, than it can dispense with their operation. — 

Of the friendly disposition of The President towards your Government 
and Country, many proofs have been given. — I am directed by him to renew 
the assurance of that disposition, and to assure you that it will continue to 
be manifested in every manner compatible with the laws of this Union and 
with the observance of its duties towards others. — 

I am [etc.]. 



DOCUMENT 66: OCTOBER 23, 1818 79 

65 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Thomas Sumter, Jr., United States 
Minister to the Portuguese Court in Brazil ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, August 22, 18 18. 

Your Correspondence with the Spanish Minister Count Casa-Flores, has 
had the effect, of first disclosing to us with official authenticity the Media- 
tion which the five great European Allied Powers, have projected, between 
Spain, and her South-American Colonies. The Allies have not been very 
communicative with the United States, with regard to their measures and 
intentions in this respect, but we know that they have not and we have 
strong [sic] to believe that they will not agree upon any coercive measures 
in the case. There is little doubt that the real Policy of Great-Britain is to 
promote the cause of the Independents, and although they will not aid them 
by a public acknowledgment, and will take no step of which Spain can com- 
plain, they will take special care that the European Alliance shall take no 
active measures against the Independents. The Agents of Buenos-Ayres 
and of New-Granada, in England have sent in to the British Government, 
Protests against the interposition of the Allies, unless upon the basis of the 
total Independence of the Colonies, unanswerable upon the argument both 
of right and fact; and the views of Great-Britain and Russia, as to what is 
to he done, are so widely apart, with so little desire on either side to come 
upon this point to an agreement that there can be no doubt but this appeal 
of Spain to the thunder bolts of the Allies will terminate in utter disappoint- 
ment. 

Two of the late Commissioners to South America, Messrs. Rodney and 
Graham have returned to this Country. Mr. Bland, as you doubtless know, 
proceeded to Chili. 



66 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Joel R. Poinsett of South Carolina, 
ex-Consul General of the United States at Buenos Aires ^ 

Washington, October 23, 18 18. 

Sir: I am directed by the President of the United States to request of 
you such information, in relation to the affairs of South America, as your 
long residence in that country, and the sources of intelligence from thence 
which have remained open to you since your return, have enabled you to 
collect, and which you may think it useful to the public to communicate to 
the Executive Government of this Union. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 

' MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 248. 

* American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 323. For replies to this, see below, pt. 11, 
docs. 242 and note thereto and 243, pt. v, doc. 461, and pt. xi, doc. 942. 



80 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

67 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Luis de Onis, Spanish Minister 

to the United States ^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, October 31, 18 18. 

Sir: Your letter of the 24th instant,^ and the proposals contained in it, 
offered as the basis of a treaty for the adjustment of all the subjects in dis- 
cussion between the United States and Spain, have been received, and laid 
before the President of the United States. . . . 

Your sixth proposition is inadmissible. The United States do not know 
that any additional laws or declarations are necessary to secure the fulfil- 
ment, on the part of Spain, of her engagements in the treaty of 1795. Nu- 
merous and just as their complaints have been of the violations of that treaty, 
under the authority of Spain, they consider the Spanish Government fully 
competent to make reparation for them, and to secure the faithful observ- 
ance of their engagements, in future, without new laws or declarations. 
Nor are they aware of any vague or arbitrary interpretation in any of the 
ports of this Union, by which, contrary to the laws of nations, or to the 
stipulations of the treaty of 1795, the law is eluded. The interpretation 
or construction given to the stipulations of the treaty of 1795 within the 
United States is subject to the decisions of the judicial tribunals of the 
United States, who are bound to consider all treaties as the supreme law of 
the land. Their proceedings are all public, and their decisions upon all 
questions of interpretation are recorded and published. In this there is 
surely nothing vague or arbitrary; nothing requiring new laws or declarations. 
Of the many complaints which you have addressed to this Government in 
relation to alleged transactions in our ports, the deficiency has been, not in 
the meaning or interpretation of the treaty, but in the proofs of the facts 
which you have stated, or which have been reported to you, to bring the 
cases of complaint within the scope of the stipulations of the treaty. . . . 
The President is deeply penetrated with the conviction that further pro- 
tracted discussion of the points at issue between our Governments cannot 
terminate in a manner satisfactory to them. From your answer to this 
letter, he must conclude whether a final adjustment of all our differences is 
now to be accomplished, or whether all hope of such a desirable result is, on 
the part of the United States, to be abandoned. 

I pray you to accept [etc.]. 

^ American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 530. 
2 See below, pt. xni, doc. 1087. 



DOCUMENT 68: NOVEMBER l6, 1818 81 

68 

President Monroe s message to the United States Congress, November i6, 1818 ' 

[extracts] 

Our relations with Spain remain nearly in the state in which they were at 
the close of the last session. . . . 

In suppressing the establishment at Amelia island, no unfriendliness was 
manifested towards Spain, because the post was taken from a force which 
had wrested it from her. The measure, it is true, was not adopted in con- 
cert with the Spanish Government, or those in authority under it; because, 
in transactions connected with the war in which Spain and the colonies are 
engaged, it was thought proper, in doing justice to the United States, to 
maintain a strict impartiality towards both the belligerent parties, without 
consulting or acting in concert with either. It gives me pleasure to state, 
that the Governments of Buenos Ayres and Venezuela, whose names were 
assumed, have explicitly disclaimed all participation in those measures, and 
even the knowledge of them, until communicated by this Government; and 
have also expressed their satisfaction that a course of proceedings had 
been suppressed, which, if justly imputable to them, would dishonor their 
cause. . . . 

The civil war which has so long prevailed between Spain and the provinces 
in South America still continues, without any prospect of its speedy termina- 
tion. The information respecting the condition of those countries, which 
has been collected by the commissioners recently returned from thence, will 
be laid before Congress, in copies of their reports, with such other informa- 
tion as has been received from other agents of the United States. 

It appears, from these communications, that the Government of Buenos 
Ayres declared itself independent in July, 1816, having previously exercised 
the power of an independent Government, though in the name of the King 
of Spain, from the j^ear 1810; that the Banda Oriental, Entre Rios, and 
Paraguay, with the city of Santa F"e, all of which are also independent, are 
unconnected with the present Government of Buenos Ayres; that Chili has 
declared itself independent, and is closely connected with Buenos Ayres; 
that Venezuela has also declared itself independent, and now maintains the 
conflict with various success; and that the remaining parts of South America, 
except Montevideo, and such other portions of the eastern bank of the La 
Plata as are held by Portugal, are still in the possession of Spain, or, in a 
certain degree, under her influence. 

By a circular note, addressed by the ministers of Spain to the allied Powers 

with whom they are respectively accredited, it appears that the allies have 

undertaken to mediate between Spain and the South American provinces, 

and that the manner and extent of their interposition would be settled by a 

* American Slate Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 212. 



82 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

congress which was to have met at Aix-la-Chapelle in September last. 
From the general policy and course of proceeding observed by the allied 
Powers in regard to this contest, it is inferred that they will confine their 
interposition to the expression of their sentiments; abstaining from the ap- 
plication of force. I state this impression, that force will not be applied, 
with the greater satisfaction, because it is a course more consistent with 
justice, and likewise authorizes a hope that the calamities of the war will be 
confined to the parties only, and will be of shorter duration. 

From the view taken of this subject, founded on all the information that 
we have been able to obtain, there is good cause to be satisfied with the 
course heretofore pursued by the United States in regard to this contest, 
and to conclude that it is proper to adhere to it, especially in the present 
state of affairs. 



69 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Lino de Clemente, Agent of Vene- 
zuela in the United States ^ 

Washington, December i6, 1818. 

Sir: Your note of the nth instant^ has been laid before the President 
of the United States, by whose direction I have to inform you that your 
name having been avowedly affixed to a paper, drawn up within the United 
States, purporting to be a commission to a foreign officer for undertaking 
and executing an expedition in violation of the laws of the United States, 
and also to another paper avowing that act, and otherwise insulting to this 
Government, which papers have been transmitted to Congress by the mes- 
sage of the President of the 25th of March last, I am not authorized to confer 
with you, and that no further communication will be received from you at 
this Department. 

I am [etc.]. 



70 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to David C. de Forest, Agent of the 
United Provinces of South America at Georgetown^ 

Washington, December 31, 18 18. 

Mr. Adams presents his compliments to Mr. De Forest, and has the honor 
of assuring him, by direction of the President of the United States, of the 
continued interest that he takes in the welfare and prosperity of the provinces 

' American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 414. See below, pt. I, doc. 73. 

2 See below, pt. vi, doc. 581 

' American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 416. 



DOCUMENT 70: DECEMBER 3I, 1818 83 

of La Plata, and of his disposition to recognise the independent Government 
of Buenos Ayres as soon as the time shall have arrived when that step may be 
taken with advantage to the interests of South America as well as of the 
United States. 

In the mean time, he regrets that an exequatur to Mr. De Forest, as consul 
general of the United Provinces of South America, cannot be issued, for 
reasons stated in part by the President, in his message to Congress at the 
commencement of their present session; and further explained to Mr. De 
Forest by Mr. Adams, in the conversation which he has had the honor of 
holding with him. Mr. De Forest must have seen that any privileges which 
may be attached to the consular character cannot avail, in the judicial 
tribunals of this country, to influence in any manner the administration of 
justice; and, with regard to the schooner brought into Scituate, such measures 
have been taken, and will be taken, by the authorities of the United States, 
as are warranted by the circumstances of the case and by the existing 
laws. 

With respect to the acknowledgment of the Government of Buenos Ayres, 
it has been suggested to Mr. De Forest, that, when adopted, it will be merely 
the recognition of a fact, without pronouncing or implying an opinion with 
regard to the extent of the territory or provinces under their authority, and 
particularly without being understood to decide upon their claim to control 
over the Banda Oriental, Santa Fe, Paraguay, or any other provinces dis- 
claiming their supremacy or dominion. It was also observed that, in 
acknowledging that Government as independent, it would be necessary for 
the United States to understand whether Buenos Ayres claims itself an entire, 
or only an imperfect independence. From certain transactions between 
persons authorized by the Supreme Director, and an agent of the United 
States, (though unauthorized by their Government,) after the declaration of 
independence by the Congress at Tucuman, and within the last year, it ap- 
pears that the Supreme Director declined contracting the engagement that 
the United States should hereafter enjoy at Buenos Ayres the advantages 
and privileges of the most favored nation, although with the offer of a 
reciprocal stipulation on the part of the United States. The reason assigned 
by the Supreme Director was, that Spain having claims to the sovereignty of 
Buenos Ayres, special privileges and advantages might ultimately be granted 
to the Spanish nation as a consideration for the renunciation of those claims. 
It is desirable that it should be submitted to the consideration of the Govern- 
ment of Buenos Ayres whether, while such a power is reserved, their 
independence is complete; and how far other Powers can rely that the 
authority of Spain might not be eventually restored. It has been stated by 
Mr. De Forest that the Congress at Tucuman had passed a resolution to offer 
special advantages to the nation which should first acknowledge their 
independence; upon which the question was proposed whether such a 



84 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

resolution, if carried into effect, would not be rather a transfer of dependence 
from one nation to another, than the establishment of independence? rather 
to purchase support than to obtain recognition? The United States have no 
intention of exacting favors of Buenos Ayres for the acknowledgment of its 
independence; but, in acknowledging it, they will expect either to enjoy, in 
their intercourse with it, the same privileges and advantages as other foreign 
nations, or to know precisely the extent and character of the benefits which 
are to be allowed to others, and denied to them. It should, indeed, be known 
to the Supreme Director that, while such an indefinite power is reserved, of 
granting to any nation advantages to be withheld from the United States, an 
acknowledgment of independence must be considered premature. 

In adverting to these principles, it was observed to Mr. De Poorest that 
their importance could not but be peculiarly felt by the United States, as 
having been invariably and conspicuously exemplified in their own practice, 
both in relation to the country whose colonies they had been, and to that 
which was the first to acknowledge their independence. In the words of 
their declaration, issued on the 4th of July, 1776, they resolved thenceforth 
" to hold the British nation as they hold the rest of mankind — enemies in war; 
in peace, friends"; and in the treaty of amity and commerce, concluded on 
the 6th of February, 1778, between the United States and France, being the 
first acknowledgment by a foreign Power of the independence of the United 
States, and the first treaty to which they were a party, the preamble declares 
that the King of France and the United States, "willing to fix, in an equitable 
and permanent manner, the rules which ought to be followed relative to the 
correspondence and commerce which the two parties desire to establish 
between their respective countries, states, and subjects, have judged that 
the said end could not be better obtained than by taking, for the basis of 
their agreement, the most perfect equality and reciprocity, and by carefully 
avoiding all those burdensome preferences which are usually sources of 
debate, embarrassment, and discontent; by leaving, also, each party at 
liberty to make, respecting commerce and navigation, those interior 
regulations which it shall find most convenient to itself; and by founding the 
advantage of commerce solely upon reciprocal utility and the just rules of 
free intercourse; reserving, withal, to each party the liberty of admitting, at 
its pleasure, other nations to a participation of the same advantage." 

In the second article of the same treaty it was also stipulated that neither 
the United States nor France should thenceforth grant any particular favor 
to other nations, in respect of commerce and navigation, which should not 
immediately become common to the other nations, freely, if the concession 
was free, or for the same compensation, if conditional. 

In answer to Mr. De Forest's note of the 12th instant,^ Mr. Adams has 
the honor of assuring him that the President has received with much 

' See below, pt. n, doc. 247 



DOCUMENT 71: JANUARY I, 1819 85 

satisfaction the information contained in it, and will derive great pleasure 
from every event which shall contribute to the stability and honor of the 
Government of Buenos Ayres. 

Mr. Adams requests Mr. De Forest to accept [etc.]. 



71 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Richard Rush, United States 

Minister to Great Britain ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, Jammry i, i8ig. 

It is mentioned in one of your despatches that Lord Castlereagh had made 
some enquiry of you, in what light the deputies from the South-American 
Revolutionary Governments were considered by that of the United-States? 
They have not been received or recognized in their official capacities, 
because that would have been equivalent to a formal recognition of the 
Governments from which they came, as Independent. But informal com- 
munications have been held with them, both verbal and written, freely and 
without disguise. We have considered the struggle between Spain and those 
Colonies, as a Civil War, the essential question of which was, their Inde- 
pendence of, or subjection to Spain. To this War, the avowed and real 
policy of the United-States has been to remain neutral; and the principles of 
Neutrality which we consider as applicable to the case are these. First; 
that the parties have, in respect to Foreign Nations, equal rights, and are 
entitled, as far as is practicable, to equal and the same treatment. Sec- 
ondly; that while the contest is maintained, on both sides, with any reason- 
able prospect of eventual success, it would be a departure from Neutrality, 
to recognize, either the supremacy contended for by Spain, or the Inde- 
pendence contended for by the South-Americans. For to acknowledge 
either would be to take the side of that party, upon the very question at 
issue between them. 

But while this state of things continues, an entire equality of treatment of 
the parties is not possible. There are circumstances arising from the nature 
of the contest itself, which produce unavoidable inequalities. Spain, for 
instance, is an acknowledged Sovereign Power, and as such, has Ministers 
and other accredited and priviledged agents to maintain her interests, and 
support her rights conformably to the usages of Nations. The South- 
Americans, not being acknowledged as Sovereign and Independent States, 
cannot have the benefit of such officers. We consider it, however, as among 
the obligations of Neutrality, to obviate this inequality, as far as may be 
* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 296. 



86 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

practicable, without taking a side, as if the question of the War was decided. 
We listen therefore to the representations of their deputies or agents, and 
do them Justice as much as if they were formally accredited. By acknowl- 
edging the existence of a Civil War, the right of Spain, as understood by 
herself, is no doubt affected. She is no longer recognized as the Sovereign of 
the Provinces in Revolution against her. Thus far Neutrality itself operates 
against her, and not against the other party. This also is an inequality 
arising from the nature of the struggle: unavoidable, and therefore not 
incompatible with Neutrality. 

But this state of things is temporary; and neither do the obligations of 
Neutrality require, nor do the rights, duties or interests of the neutral State 
permit that it should be unreasonably protracted. It naturally terminates 
with the preponderating success of either of the parties to the W^ar. — If 
therefore we consider the Civil War, as no longer existing between Spain and 
Mexico, because there is no longer in that Province an organized Govern- 
ment, claiming to be Sovereign and Independent, and maintaining that 
claim by force of arms, upon the same principle, though differently applied, 
we think the period is fast approaching when it will be no longer a Civil 
War between Spain and Buenos-Ayres: because the Independence of the 
latter will be so firmly established, as to be beyond the reach of any reason- 
able pretension of Supremacy on the part of Spain. The mediation of the 
Allied European Powers, between Spain and her revolted Colonies, was 
solicited by Spain, with the professed object of obtaining from the Allies a 
guarantee of the restoration of her Sovereign authority in South-America. 
But the very acceptance of the office of Mediators, upon such a basis, would 
have been a departure from Neutrality by the Allies. This was clearly seen 
by Great-Britain, who very explicitly and repeatedly declared that her in- 
tention was in no event whatever resulting from the mediation to employ 
force against the South-Americans. 

The Allies did, however, assent to become the mediators at the request 
of Spain alone, and upon the basis, that the object of the mediation should 
be, the restoration of the Spanish authority, though with certain modifica- 
tions favourable to the Colonies. As the United-States were never invited 
to take a part in that mediation, so, as you have been instructed, they 
neither desired, nor would have consented to become parties to it, upon that 
basis. It appears, that in one of your conversations with Lord Castlereagh, 
he expressed some regret that the views of this Government, in relation to 
that question, were not precisely the same as those of the British Cabinet, 
and that we disapprove of any interposition of third parties, upon any basis 
other than that of the total emancipation of the Colonies. 

The President wishes you to take an early and suitable occasion to observe 
to Lord Castlereagh, that he hopes the difference between our views and 
those of Great-Britain is more of form than of substance; more founded in 



DOCUMENT 71: JANUARY I, 1819 87 

the degree of complacency respectively due by the parties to the views of 
Spain, than to any inherent difference of opinion upon the question to be 
solved; — that as Neutrals to the Civil War, we think that no mediation 
between the parties ought to be undertaken, without the assent of both 
parties to the War; and that whether we consider the question of the conflict 
between Spanish Colonial Dominion, and South-American Independence, 
upon principles, moral, or political, or upon those of the interest of either 
party to the War, or of all other Nations as connected with them, whether 
upon grounds of right or of fact, they all bring us to the same conclusion, 
that the contest cannot and ought not to terminate otherwise than by the 
total Independence of South-America. Anxious, however, to fulfil every 
obligation of good neighbourhood to Spain, notwithstanding our numerous 
and aggravated causes of complaint against her, and especially desirous to 
preserve the friendship and good-will of all the Allied European Powers, we 
have forborne, under circumstances of strong provocation, to take any deci- 
sive step which might interfere with the course of their policy in relation to 
South-America. We have waited patiently to see the effect of their media- 
tion, without an attempt to disconcert or defeat any measures upon which 
they might agree for assuring its success. But convinced as we are that the 
Spanish Authority never can be restored at Buenos-Ayres, in Chili, or in 
Venezuela, we wish the British Government and all the European Allies, to 
consider, how important it is to them as well as to us, that these newly 
formed States should be regularly recognized: not only because the right to 
such recognition cannot with Justice be long denied to them, but that they 
may be held to observe on their part the ordinary rules of the Law of Na- 
tions, in their intercourse with the civilized World. We particularly believe 
that the only effectual means of repressing the excessive irregularities and 
piratical depredations of armed vessels under their flags and bearing their 
Commissions, will be to require of them the observance of the principles, 
sanctioned by the practice of maritime Nations. It is not to be expected 
that they will feel themselves bound by the ordinary duties of Sovereign 
States, while they are denied the enjoyment of all their rights. 

The Government of Buenos-Ayres have appointed a Consul-General to 
reside in the United-States. He has applied as long since as last May, and 
again very recently for an Exequatur, which has not been issued; because 
that would be a formal recognition of his Government. You will in the 
most friendly manner mention to Lord Castlereagh, that the President has 
it in contemplation to grant this Exequatur, or otherwise to recognize the 
Government of Buenos-Ayres, at no remote period, should no event occur 
which will justify a further postponement of that intention. If it should 
suit the views of Great-Britain to adopt similar measures at the same time 
and in concert with us, it will be highly satisfactory to the President. W^hen 
adopted, it will be a mere acknowledgment of the fact of Independence, 



88 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

and without deciding upon the extent of their Territory, or upon their claims 
to Sovereignty, in any part of the Provinces of La Plata, where it is not 
established and uncontested. 
I am [etc.]. 



72 

John Qtiincy Adams, Secretary oj State, to David C. de Forest, Agent of the 
United Provinces of South America at Georgetown ^ 

Washington, January i, i8iq. 

Mr. Adams presents his compliments to Mr. De Forest, and, in reference 
to the case of the schooner brought into Scituate, mentioned in Mr. De 
Forest's communication of the 9th instant, as well as to several others which 
have occurred of a similar character, requests him to have the goodness to 
impress upon the Government of Buenos Ayres the necessity of taking 
measures to repress the excesses and irregularities committed by many armed 
vessels sailing under their flag and bearing their commissions. The Govern- 
ment of the United States have reason to believe that many of these vessels 
have been fitted out, armed, equipped, and manned in the ports of the 
United States, and in direct violation of their laws. 

Of the persons composing the prize crew of the vessel at Scituate, and now 
in confinement upon charges of murder and piracy, it is understood that 
three are British subjects, and one a citizen of the United States. It is 
known that commissions for private armed vessels to be fitted out, armed, 
and manned in this country, have been sent from Buenos Ayres to the 
United States, with the names of the vessels, commanders, and officers in 
blank, to be filled up here, and have been offered to the avidity of speculators 
stimulated more by the thirst for plunder than by any regard for the South 
American cause. 

Of such vessels it is obvious that neither the captains, officers, nor crews 
can have any permanent connexion with Buenos Ayres; and, from the char- 
acters of those who alone could be induced to engage in such enterprises, 
there is too much reason to expect acts of atrocity such as those alleged 
against the persons implicated in the case of the vessel at Scituate. 

The President wishes to believe that this practice has been without the 
privity of the Government of Buenos Ayres, and he wishes their attention 
may be drawn to the sentiment, that it is incompatible both with the rights 
and the obligations of the United States: with their rights, as an offensive 
exercise of sovereign authority by foreigners within their jurisdiction and 
without their consent; with their obligations, as involving a violation of the 
neutrality which they have invariably avowed, and which it is their deter- 

1 American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 417. 



DOCUMENT 73: JANUARY 28, 1819 89 

mination to maintain. The President expects, from the friendly disposition 
manifested by the Supreme Director towards the United States, that no 
instance of this cause of complaint will hereafter be given. 
Mr. Adams requests Mr. De Forest to accept [etc.]. 



73 . 
John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to President James Monroe ' 

Washington, January 28, 1819. 

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the resolution of the 
House of Representatives of the 14th instant, requesting of the President 
information whether any application has been made by any of the independ- 
ent Governments of South America to have a minister or consul general 
accredited by the Government of the United States, and what was the 
answer given to such application, has the honor of submitting copies of 
applications made by Don Lino de Clemente to be received as the representa- 
tive of the republic of Venezuela; and of David C. De Forest, a citizen of the 
United States, to be accredited as consul general of the United Provinces of 
South America, with the answers respectively returned to them.^ The reply 
of Mr. De Forest is likewise enclosed, and copies of the papers, signed and 
avowed by Mr. Clemente, which the President considered as rendering any 
communication between this Department and him, other than that now 
enclosed, improper. 

It is to be observed that, while Mr. Clemente, in March, 181 7, was assum- 
ing, with the name of deputy from Venezuela, to exercise with the United 
States powers transcending the lawful authority of any ambassador, and 
while, in January, 1818, he was commissioning, in language disrespectful to 
this Government, Vicente Pazos, in the name of the republic of Venezuela, to 
"protest against the invasion of Amelia island, and all such further acts of 
the Government of the United States as were contrary to the rights and 
interests of the several republics and the persons sailing under their respective 
flags duly commissioned," he had himself not only never been received by 
the Government of the United States as deputy from Venezuela, but had 
never presented himself to it in that character, or offered to exhibit any 
evidence whatsoever of his being invested with it. The issuing of com- 
missions authorizing acts of war against a foreign nation is a power which not 
even a sovereign can lawfully exercise within the dominions of another in 
amity with him, without his consent. Mr. Pazos, in his memorial to the 
President, communicating the commission signed by Mr. Clemente at 

1 American Slate Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 412. 
* See below, pt. vi, doc. 581, and pt. 11, doc. 246. 



90 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

Philadelphia, and given to General McGregor, alleges, in its justification, 
the example of the illustrious Franklin in Europe; but this example, instead 
of furnishing an exception, affords a direct confirmation of the principle now 
advanced. The commissions issued by the diplomatic agents of the United 
States in France, during our revolutionary war, were granted with the 
knowledge and consent of the French Government, of which the following 
resolution from the Secret Journal of Congress of 23d December, 1776, is 
decisive proof: 

''Resolved, That the commissioners [at the court of France] be authorized 
to arm and fit for war any number of vessels, not exceeding six, at the 
expense of the United States, to war upon British property; and that 
commissions and warrants be for this purpose sent to the commissioners: 
provided the commissioners he well satisfied this measure will not he disagreeahle 
to the court of France^ 

It is also now ascertained, by the express declaration of the supreme chief, 
Bolivar, to the agent of the United States at Angostura, "that the Govern- 
ment of Venezuela had never authorized the expedition of General McGregor, 
nor any other enterprise, against Florida or Amelia." Instructions have 
been forwarded to the same agent to give suitable explanations to the 
Government of Venezuela of the motives for declining further communication 
with Mr. Clemente, and assurances that it will readily be held with any 
person not liable to the same or like objection. 

The application of Mr. De Forest to be accredited as consul general of the 
United Provinces of South America was first made in May last: his credential 
was a letter from the Supreme Director of Buenos Ayres, Pueyrredon, an- 
nouncing his appointment by virtue of articles concluded in the names of the 
United States of America and of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, 
between persons authorized by him, and W. G. D. Worthington, as agent of 
this Government, who neither had, nor indeed pretended to have, any power 
to negotiate such articles. Mr. De Forest was informed, and requested to 
make known to the Supreme Director, that Mr. Worthington had no 
authority whatsoever to negotiate on the part of the United States any 
articles to be obligatory on them, and had never pretended to possess any full 
power to that effect; that any communication interesting to the Supreme 
Director, or to the people of Buenos Ayres, would readily be held with Mr. De 
Forest; but that the recognition of him as a consul general from the United 
Provinces of South America could not be granted, either upon the stipulation 
of supposed articles, which were a nullity, or upon the commission or 
credential letter of the Supreme Director, without recognising thereby the 
authority from which it emanated as a sovereign and independent Power. 

With this determination, Mr. De Forest then declared himself entirely 
satisfied. But, shortly after the commencement of the present session of 
Congress, he renewed his solicitations, by the note dated the 9th of December, 



DOCUMENT 73: JANUARY 28, I819 9I 

to be accredited as the consul general of the United Provinces of South 
America, founding his claim on the credentials from his Government, which 
had been laid before the President last May. 

A conversation was shortly afterwards held with him, by direction of the 
President, in which the reasons were fully explained to him upon which the 
formal acknowledgment of the Government of Buenos Ayres for the present 
was not deemed expedient. They were also, at his request, generally stated 
in the note dated the 31st of December. 

It has not been thought necessary, on the part of this Government, to 
pursue the correspondence with Mr. De Forest any further, particularly as he 
declares himself unauthorized to agitate or discuss the question with regard 
to the recognition of Buenos Ayres as an independent nation. Some 
observations, however, may be proper, with reference to circumstances alleged 
by him, as arguing that a consul general may be accredited without acknowl- 
edging the independence of the Government from which he has his appoint- 
ment. The consul of the United States, who has resided at Buenos Ayres, 
had no other credential than his commission. It implied no recognition by 
the United States of any particular Government; and it was issued before the 
Buenos Ayrean declaration of independence, and while all the acts of the 
authorities there were in the name of the King of Spain. 

During the period while this Government declined to receive Mr. Onis as 
the minister of Spain, no consul received an exequatur under a commission 
from the same authority. The Spanish consuls, who had been received 
before the contest for the government of Spain had arisen, were suffered to 
continue the exercise of their functions, for which no new recognition was 
necessary. A similar remark may be made with regard to the inequality 
alleged by Mr. De Forest to result from the admission of Spanish consuls 
officially to protest before our judicial tribunals the rights of Spanish sub- 
jects generally, while he is not admitted to the same privileges with regard to 
those of the citizens of Buenos Ayres. The equality of rights to which the 
two parties to a civil war are entitled, in their relations with neutral Powers, 
does not extend to the rights enjoyed by one of them, by virtue of treaty 
stipulations contracted before the war; neither can it extend to rights, the 
enjoyment of which essentially depends upon the issue of the war. That 
Spain is a sovereign and independent Power, is not contested by Buenos 
Ayres, and is recognised by the United States, who are bound by treaty to 
receive her consuls. Mr. De Forest's credential letter asks that he may be 
received by virtue of a stipulation in supposed articles concluded by Mr. 
Worthington, but which he was not authorized to make; so that the reception 
of Mr. De Forest, upon the credential on which he founds his claim, would 
imply a recognition, not only of the Government of the Supreme Director, 
Pueyrredon, but a compact as binding upon the United States, which is a 
mere nullity. 



92 PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

Consuls are, indeed, received by the Government of the United States 
from acknowledged sovereign Powers with whom they have no treaty. But 
the exequatur for a consul general can obviously not be granted without 
recognising the authority from whom his appointment proceeds as sovereign. 
"The consul," says Vattel, (book 2, chap. 2, § 34,) "is not a public minister; 
but as he is charged with a commission from his sovereign, and received in that 
quality by him where he resides, he should enjoy, to a certain extent, the 
protection of the law of nations." 

If, from this state of things, the inhabitants of Buenos Ayres cannot enjoy 
the advantage of being officially represented before the courts of the United 
States by a consul, while the subjects of Spain are entitled to that privilege, 
it is an inequality resulting from the nature of the contest in which they are 
engaged, and not from any denial of their rights as parties to a civil war. 
The recognition of them, as such, and the consequent admission of their 
vessels into the ports of the United States, operate with an inequality against 
the other party to that contest, and in their favor. 

It was stated in conversation to Mr. De Forest, and afterwards in the note 
of 31st December, that it would be desirable to the United States to under- 
stand whether Buenos Ayres itself claims an entire, or only an imperfect 
independence; that the necessity of an explanation upon this point arose 
from the fact that, in the negotiation of the supposed article with Mr. 
VVorthington, the Supreme Director had declined contracting the engage- 
ment, though with the offer of reciprocity, that the United States should 
enjoy at Buenos Ayres the advantages and privileges of the most favored 
nation ; that the reason given by him for refusing such an engagement was, 
that Spain having claims of sovereignty over Buenos Ayres, the right must 
be reserved of granting special favors to her for renouncing them, which other 
nations, having no such claims to renounce, could not justly expect to obtain. 
Without discussing the correctness of this principle, it was observed that the 
United States, in acknowledging Buenos Ayres as independent, would expect 
either to be treated on the footing of the most favored nation, or to know the 
extent and character of the benefits which were to be allowed to others and 
denied to them; and that, while an indefinite power should be reserved, of 
granting to any nation advantages to be withheld from the United States, an 
acknowledgment of independence must be considered premature. 

Mr. De Forest answers that this reservation must appear to every one 
contrary to the inclination as well as interest of the Government of Buenos 
Ayres; that it must have been only a proposition of a temporary nature, not 
extending to the acknowledgment by the United States of the independence 
of South America, which he is confident would have rendered any such 
reservation altogether unnecessary, in the opinion of the Government of 
Buenos Ayres, who must have seen they were treating with an unauthorized 
person, and suggested the idea from an opinion of its good policy; and, he 



DOCUMENT 73: JANUARY 28, I819 93 

adds, that Portugal is acknowledged by the United States as an independent 
Power, although their commerce is taxed higher in the ports of Brazil than 
that of Great Britain. 

It had not been intended to suggest to Mr, De Forest that it was, in any 
manner, incompatible with the independence or sovereignty of a nation to 
grant commercial advantages to one foreign state, and to withhold them 
from another. If any such advantage is granted for an equivalent, other 
nations can have no right to claim its enjoyment, even though entitled to he 
treated as the most favored nations, unless by the reciprocal grant of the same 
equivalent. Neither had it been meant to say that a nation forfeited its 
character of acknowledged sovereignty, even by granting, without equiva- 
lent, commercial advantages to one foreign Power, and withholding them 
from another. However absurd and unjust the policy of a nation granting to 
one, and refusing to another, such gratuitous concessions might be deemed, 
the question whether they affected its independence or not would rest upon 
the nature of the concessions themselves. The idea meant to be conveyed 
was, that the reservation of an indefinite right to grant hereafter special 
favors to Spain for the remuneration of her claims of sovereignty, left it 
uncertain whether the independence of Buenos Ayres would be complete or 
imperfect, and it was suggested with a view to give the opportunity to the 
Supreme Director of explaining his intentions in this respect, and to intimate 
to him that, while such an indefinite right was reserved, an acknowledgment 
of independence must be considered as premature. This caution was 
thought the more necessary, inasmuch as it was known that, at the same 
time while the Supreme Director was insisting upon this reservation, a 
mediation between Spain and her colonies had been solicited by Spain, and 
agreed to by the five principal Powers of Europe, the basis of which was 
understood to be a compromise between the Spanish claim to sovereignty and 
the colonial claim to independence. 

Mr. De Forest was understood to have said that the Congress atTucuman 
had determined to offer a grant of special privileges to the nation which 
should be the first to acknowledge the independence of Buenos Ayres. He 
stated in his notes that he knew nothing of any such resolution by that 
Congress, but that it was a prevailing opinion at Buenos Ayres, and his own 
opinion also, that such special privileges would be granted to the first 
recognising Power, if demanded. It has invariably been avowed by the 
Government of the United States that they would neither ask nor accept of 
any special privilege or advantage for their acknowledgment of South 
American independence; but it appears that the Supreme Director of Buenos 
Ayres, far from being prepared to grant special favors to the United States 
for taking the lead in the acknowledgment, declined even a reciprocal stipula- 
tion that they should enjoy the same advantages as other nations. Nor was 
this reservation, as Mr. De Forest supposes, defeasible by the acknowledg- 



94 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

ment on the part of the United States of South American independence. 
The Supreme Director could not be so ignorant that it was impossible for this 
Government to ratify the articles prepared by his authority with Mr. 
Worthington, and yet to withhold the acknowledgment of independence. 
He knew that, if that instrument should be ratified, the United States must 
thereby necessarily be the first to grant the acknowledgment; yet he declined 
inserting in it an article securing to each party in the ports of the other 
the advantages of the most favored nation. It is, nevertheless, in conformity 
to one of those same articles that Mr. De Forest claimed to be received in the 
formal character of consul general. 

With regard to the irregularities and excesses committed by armed vessels 
sailing under the flag of Buenos Ayres, complained of in the note of the ist 
of January, it was not expected that Mr. De Forest would have the power of 
restraining them, otherwise than by representing them to the Supreme 
Director, in whom the authority to apply the proper remedy is supposed to be 
vested. The admission of Mr. De Forest in the character of consul general 
would give him no additional means of suppressing the evil. Its principal 
aggravation arises from the circumstance that the cruisers of Buenos Ayres 
are almost, if not quite, universally manned and officered by foreigners, hav- 
ing no permanent connexion with that country, or interest in its cause. But 
the complaint was not confined to the misconduct of the cruisers; it was 
stated that blank commissions for privateers, their commanders, and officers, 
had been transmitted to this country, with the blanks left to be filled up here, 
for fitting out, arming, and equipping them for purposes prohibited by the 
laws of the United States, and in violation of the laws of nations. It was 
observed, that this practice being alike irreconcilable with the rights and 
the obligations of the United States, it was expected by the President that, 
being made known to the Supreme Director, no instance of it would again 
occur hereafter. No reply to this part of the note has been made by Mr. De 
Forest; for it is not supposed that he meant to disclaim all responsibility of 
himself or of the Government of Buenos Ayres concerning it, unless his 
character of consul general should be recognised. As he states that he has 
transmitted a copy of the note itself to Buenos Ayres, the expectation may be 
indulged that the exclusive sovereign authority of the United States within 
their own jurisdiction will hereafter be respected. 

All which is respectfully submitted. 



DOCUMENT 75: MARCH 8, 1819 95 

74 

President James Monroe to the United States House of Representatives, com- 
municated January JO, 18 ig^ 

Washington, January 2g, i8iq. 

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in compliance with their 
resolution of the 14th of this month, a report- from the Secretary of State 
concerning the applications which have been made by any of the independent 
Governments of South America to have a minister or consul general ac- 
credited by the Government of the United States, with the answers of 
this Government to the applications addressed to it. 



75 

Generalinstructions of John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to John Forsyth, 
United States Minister to Spain^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, March 8, 1819. 

There are in various parts of Spain and of the Spanish Colonies, numbers 
of Citizens of the United States, who having been taken, either engaged in 
the land or Sea Service of the South Americans, or merely having been found 
within the Spanish Colonial territories, are confined as Prisoners of State 
and have applied to the Government of the United States to obtain their 
release. — Many of them claim the benefit of the Act of Amnesty or Indulto, 
upon the promise of which they alledge that they surrendered themselves. — 
Others assert that British subjects, taken under the same circumstances 
with them, have been released at the requisition of the Officers or Agents of 
their Country. — A Public Ship of the United States has very recently been 
sent to the Havanna for the purpose of obtaining the deliverance of a num- 
ber of them who are there. — We have yet no information with what success. 
— But one of the persons for whose liberation that Vessel was despatched, 
William Davis Robinson, is known to have been embarked, before her 
arrival there, for Cadiz. Repeated applications in his behalf have been 
made from this Government, both to that of Spain directly and through 
Mr. Onis to the Vice Roy of Mexico and to the Governor General of the 
Havanna. Mr. Erving who was last Summer instructed to claim his release, 
was then erroneously informed that he had been set at liberty. If, upon 

^American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 412. 

* See above, doc. 73. 

* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 305. John Forsyth, of Georgia: 
Commissioned minister plenipotentiary to Spain, February 16, 1819. Took leave, March 2, 
1823. Later was Secretary of State. 



96 PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

your arrival in Spain you should find that he is still kept as a Prisoner, you 
will take every measure that may be proper for procuring his discharge. — 
He affirms that he was never in arms with the insurgents and that he was 
expressly promised the benefit of the Indulto — Mr. Onis has communicated a 
decree of the Spanish Government that all foreigners taken in the service 
of the Revolutionary South Americans shall be considered as standing on 
the same footing as the Insurgents themselves. — We admit the correctness 
of this principle, provided the Insurgents are treated as parties to a Civil 
War. But as it is understood that no exchange of prisoners has been 
practised between the Parties in the South American Conflict, as these 
Citizens of the United States must, while Prisoners be chargeable upon 
Spain, and as it will tend to confirm the harmony and friendly disposition 
between the two nations, which it was the main object of the Treaty to 
establish, the hope is entertained that the discharge of all American Citizens, 
thus confined, will be readily granted by the Spanish Government. . . . 
. . . Besides the subjects of immediate concern to the United States 
which will constitute the principal duties of your mission, you will be watch- 
ful of all the important political movements of Spain as a member of the 
European System, of the internal State of the Nation — Of the progress and 
changes of affairs in her struggles against the Revolution in her colonies, 
and of the aspects which her controversy with Portugal may yet assume 
under the mediation of the five allied Powers. 



76 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to John Forsyth, United States Min- 
ister to Spain ^ 

Washington, March 16, i8ig. 

Sir: You will receive herewith a list of several Citizens of the United 
States who were held in captivity under the authority of the Colonial or 
military Officers of Spain at the Havanna and Campeachy sometime ago, 
upon the charge of having been taken while in the service of some one or 
other of the Revolutionary Governments of South America; and there is 
reason to believe that some if not all of those persons have been transported 
to Spain and to Fortresses belonging to Spain, upon the coast of Africa, 
where they are now confined. — The Spanish Minister here has more than 
once interested himself for them, by writing to the Governor General of 
Cuba in their behalf; but it is feared that this Officer may not have consid- 
ered himself as invested with sufficient authority to permit their discharge 
1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 312. 



DOCUMENT 77: APRIL 7, I819 97 

and that they are all, as some of them are known to have lately been, in 
the situations abovementioned. — Under these circumstances, and for the 
reasons particularly stated in your general instructions the hope is cherished 
by this Government, that the discharge of these American Citizens, and of 
all others, thus confined, will be readily granted by the Spanish Government; 
and you will not fail to impress upon it, how much such a measure would 
tend to confirm the spirit of harmony and friendly disposition between the 
two nations. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



77 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Lids de Onis, Spanish Minister to 

the United States^ 

Washington, April 7, iSip. 

Sir: The Act of Congress of the last Session to protect the Commerce of 
the United States and punish the crime of piracy, referred to in your Note 
of the 9th ulto. has two objects. — One, to protect the property of the Citizens 
of the United States from piratical aggressions and the other, to provide for 
the punishment of foreigners, guilty of the crime of piracy as defined by the 
law of nations, who may be taken on the high Seas and brought within the 
jurisdiction of the United States. — The question, what aggression will in any 
individual case be deemed piratical is, by the nature of our Institutions, to 
be determined by the Judicial Department of the Government. — The Execu- 
tive Government recognizes no Commissions issued by foreign Agents here, 
for any armed Vessel, whether fitted out here or elsewhere, but if such Com- 
missions have been issued, whether any aggressions committed under colour 
of them would or would not be piratical, is a question in no wise affected by 
the above-mentioned Act of Congress, and its decision is strictly within the 
Province of the Tribunals before whom it may be brought to issue. — The 
same observation may be applied to all the other questions, suggested in 
your note. — The Act of Congress to which you refer has made no change in 
the laws, municipal or international, upon any of the points to which your 
queries are directed; neither can the Executive Administration consider as 
having any bearing upon those questions. — In these respects the law re- 
mains as it was before the passage of the act — It was not the intention of 
Congress to discriminate between the pretensions of the several Provinces 
in South America, asserting their Independence by war or to determine 
which of them were competent and which were not to exercise the ordinary 
rights of belligerent powers — Of the several classes of Commissions enu- 
merated by you, some are not known by this Government to exist, the 
' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, II, 355. 



98 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

validity of others may depend upon the time when they were issued, or 
other circumstances on which no decision can be formed by anticipation. — 
It is however distinctly to be observed, that no example is known of any 
nation that has ever classed among Pirates an armed Vessel, merely for 
not having a Captain and two thirds or even half its Crew natives of the 
Country or Government granting the Commission. — I take much satisfaction 
in renewing to you [etc.]. 



78 

General instructions of John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to John Graham, 
United States Minister to the Portuguese Court in Brazil ^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, April 24, i8ig. 

Sir: Your long, faithful and assiduous service in this Department, has 
made you familiarly acquainted with all the important relations of the 
United States with foreign powers, and particularly with those subsisting 
between this Government and that of Portugal at Rio de Janeiro. — Your 
late mission ^ to South America has given you opportunities of acquiring a 
still more particular knowledge of the Country and these considerations 
have concurred to induce The President, with the advice and consent of the 
Senate to appoint you Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to the 
Court of Portugal, now residing in Brazil. 

The subjects which will require your earnest attention and active exertions 
in the discharge of the duties of this mission, relate i. To the general 
Commercial intercourse between the two Countries and 2. To particular 
incidents which in the course of the last three or four years have occurred, 
of a tendency to impair the mutual good understanding which it is the un- 
doubted interest of both nations, and believed to be the sincere intention of 
both Governments to cultivate and promote. . . . 

A more important cause of misunderstanding between the Portuguese 
Government and ours has sprung from the consequences of their invasion 
of the eastern borders of the River La Plata and their occupation of Monte- 
video, combining with the irregular and piratical armaments which have 
taken place in our Ports, during the latter stages of the convulsions in South 
America. The invasion of that territory by the Portuguese was avowedly 
without any claim to it as their own. It brought them immediately into a 
controversy with Spain, which is not yet terminated; but it also brought 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 319. 

2 See above, doc. 40, Rush to Rodney and Graham, July 18, 181 7; also see below, pt. n, 
doc. 244, for his report dated November 5, 181 8. 



DOCUMENT 78: APRIL 24, 1819 99 

them into collision with the revolutionary Government of Buenos Ayres, 
and into actual conflict with that of General Artigas, which was in actual 
possession of the Country. — By a formal treaty or a tacit understanding 
with Buenos Ayres, they have mutually abstained from hostilities against 
each other and Portugal, like the rest of Europe, and like the United States, 
recognized a state of civil war between Spain and her colonies to which she 
avows her own neutrality. But while She acknowledges the belligerent 
rights of Buenos Ayres, She has found it necessary to dispute those of Artigas, 
against whom She makes a war de facto, without a declaration and whom 
She has not even the claim which Spain alleges against the revolutionary 
South Americans, that they are her subjects. — Copies are herewith com- 
municated to you of a memoir from Count Palmella, addressed to the 
Sovereigns at the Congress of Aix La Chapelle, soliciting their interposition 
with this Government to accomplish as far as possible, the suppression of 
Piratical Armaments in the Ports of the United States, and urging that all 
armed Vessels sailing under the flag of and with Commissions of Artigas 
may be declared Pirates. The same claim is advanced in the note of the 
Portuguese Minister here. But this request was not complied with by the 
European Sovereigns at Aix la Chapelle, nor can it be complied with by this 
Government. The Government of Artigas exists in fact as much as that 
of Buenos Ayres or at least did exist to the latest period of our intelligence 
from that Country. The only ground of distinction taken by Count 
Palmella and Mr. Correa to invalidate the Commissions of Artigas is, that 
he possesses no Sea Ports, from which Privateers could be fitted out. If 
that were strictly true, it does not necessarily follow that by the laws of 
nations a Government possessing no Ports is absolutely incompetent to 
issue Commissions to armed Vessels — and if it did, it is well known that 
Artigas did possess a port, which was taken from him by the Portuguese. 
It is too much for a neutral Power to say that the right which the argument 
of the Portuguese Ministers admits him to have possessed while he held 
Montevideo, should have been forfeited by their military occupation of that 
place. But, in no case could he have the authority to give Commissions to 
Vessels armed and fitted out and manned in the Ports of the United States; 
nor will any such Commission be recognized by the United States as valid. 
That, contrary to the intentions of this Government, armed Vessels have 
been fitted out and armed within our Ports and have afterwards committed 
acts of hostility against Portuguese Vessels, under the colours of Artigas and 
•with Commissions from him, is believed to be true, though no authentic 
proof of the fact has been produced before our judicial tribunals. Against 
these illegal armaments, every Department of the Government of the 
United States has used, and you may give the strongest assurances, will 
continue to use every effort in their Power. The Note of Count Palmella 
to the Congress of Aix la Chapelle very justly remarks, that these irregular 



100 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

and piratical depredations (in which the subjects of other powers and even 
of those in the most friendly and intimate relations with Portugal have 
participated more than the Citizens of the United States) originating in the 
peculiar character of the struggle between Spain and her South American 
Colonies, cannot be expected to be entirely suppressed, while that contest 
shall continue. No Government has the power of preventing them entirely, 
and none has taken measures more decisively indicating its abhorrence of 
them and its determination to put them down, than the United States. 
The act of Congress of March 1817 was passed expressly with that view and 
is stated by Count Palmella's Note to have been introduced in consequence 
of the solicitations of the Minister of Portugal. Although in the first 
instance limited to a period of two years, it had, many months before the 
date of Count Palmella's note [20th April 181 8 Acts of 15th Congress, First 
Session p. 76], been in substance reenacted and made permanent. An 
additional Act passed on the third of March last [Acts 15 Cong 2 Sess p 75] 
manifests the continued and earnest solicitude of the legislature against 
these outrages. The Executive Government has, in like manner, exercised 
all its powers to the same end. One of its principal motives for the occupa- 
tion of Amelia Island at the close of the year 1817 was to deprive these ad- 
venturers of a Station which they had taken in the pursuit of their nefarious 
purposes, and which was so peculiarly adapted to them that a bare inspection 
of the map will shew the importance of the measure in counteracting them — a 
conclusion confirmed no less by the occurrence of events during the short 
time while they possessed the Islands, than by those which have happened 
since it was wrested from them. Cotemporaneous with this step and con- 
current with it, was the dispatching of three Commissioners to visit Buenos 
Ayres and Chili, and one of the primary objects of their instructions, as 
you, one of the Commissioners know was to make earnest representation, 
to the existing Governments of South America, requiring them to discounte- 
nance these piratical plunderers and to controul the privateers duly provided 
with their Commission and to hold them under proper responsibility accord- 
ing to the ordinary laws of nations. Similar injunctions were given to an 
Agent of the United States despatched early in the last year to Venezuela, 
and have been executed by him. The correspondence of which a copy is 
furnished you, with Don Lino Clemen te, who presented himself here as the 
Agent of Venezuela and with D. C. de Forest who had a Commission as Con- 
sul General from Buenos Ayres is a further manifestation of the same spirit. 
The prosecutions for Piracy which have been commenced in several instances, 
in some of which the Attorney General of the United States has been specially 
directed to give his assistance and the measures still taken for bringing such 
offenders to Justice are all proofs and pledges of the sincerity and energy 
with which the Executive Administration has discharged its duty of pro- 
tecting to the utmost of its power the rights of Portuguese subjects from 



DOCUMENT 79: MAY 20, 1819 lOI 

depredations upon the Ocean by Citizens of the United States, in violation 
of their laws. Portuguese Property which had been captured by Privateers 
fitted out or even the force of which had been augmented within the United 
States, has in various instances been restored by the decrees of the judicial 
tribunals at the claim of the Portuguese Consuls. The cases of the Sociedad 
Felix at Baltimore and of the Poquila in the district of Maine, are recent 
instances of such decisions. In December last Mr. Correa addressed a note 
to this department, complaining of outrages committed on the coast of 
Brazil by the Privateer Irresistible, Captain John Daniels, and requesting, 
in case he should return within the United States that he might be prose- 
cuted. Daniels having lately returned, the prosecution against him will be 
commenced, if evidence should appear sufificient to warrant his conviction. 
Copies of Mr. Correa's note and of the answer to it are herewith furnished. 
The case of the Ship Monte AUegre has not yet been definitively decided, 
but a letter from the District Attorney who is of Counsd for the Claimants 
assures m.e that he has no doubt she will be restored to the Owners. He 
affirms also that all the captures which have been brought into the United 
States were made by Vessels fitted out before the act of 1817. 

In impressing on the Brazilian Government these circumstances in proof 
of the constant determination of the Government of the United States to 
discharge all the duties of their friendly relations with Portugal and of the 
earnest wish with which it is animated of cultivating the friendship sub- 
sisting between the two Countries, you will urge, with a conciliatory temper, 
with all suitable respect, but with firmness and energy the right of the United 
States to a return of these amicable dispositions and the interests of their 
Citizens depending upon them. . . . 

Your communications to this Department, as well upon the subject 
properly belonging to your mission, as upon South American Affairs Gener- 
ally, and upon every thing which you shall consider to have a bearing upon 
the public interest, will be as frequent as the opportunities for conveyance 
will admit. 

I am [etc.]. 



79 

John Qidncy Adams, Secretary of State, to Smith Thompson, Secretary of 

the Navy^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, May 20, 1819. 

Sir: The paper, a copy of which is herewith enclosed, will exhibit to you 
the object of the President in directing that Captain Oliver H. Perry should 

1 MS. Domestic Letters, XVII. 



102 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

be instructed to take the command of the United States' Ship John Adams, 
and proceed on a voyage, first to Venezuela, and afterwards to Buenos 
Ayres — If the depth of water drawn by the ship should render it imprac- 
ticable for her to pass over the bar at the entrance of the River Orinoco, 
Captain Perry will leave the ship in the command of his first Officer at the 
Island of Margarita, or at any other more convenient station for a time 
sufficient for him to perform the duties now to be assigned to him — During 
his absence the ship may be employed on a cruize between that Island and 
St. Domingo, for the purpose of protecting the commerce of the United 
States in those waters, under the special instructions from the Navy Depart- 
ment, in execution of the acts of the last session of Congress, relating to 
Piracy & the Slave trade — It is supposed that the absence of Captain Perry 
will not exceed one month, at the end of which he will direct that the ship 
should return to a place of rendezvous, either of the Island of Margarita, or 
at any other point where he can with most convenience join her, and resume 
the command. He will then proceed without delay to the River La Plata, 
and if the depth of water will permit, to Buenos Ayres. If not, he will 
leave the ship again at Montevideo, and proceed in person to Buenos Ayres — • 
In both cases it will be desirable, if possible, that he should go in the ship; 
but at all events he will appear only in the character of her commander. 

He will nevertheless, on his arrival at Angostura and at Buenos Ayres, by 
personal visit to the supreme chief and Director, or to the persons who 
may have succeeded them, at the head of the respective Governments, place 
himself in such relations with them, as will enable him to communicate with 
them freely, and to inform them that he is authorized, on the part of this 
Government, to give and to receive, in return, explanations upon certain 
points highly interesting to the Friendly intercourse, between the United 
States and them. 

As there have been agents of the United States both at Angostura and at 
Buenos Ayres, and Commissioners at the latter place with avowed public 
characters, and as the desire, both of Venezuela, and of the Provinces of La 
Plata, to be recognized by the United States, as Sovereign and Independent 
Governments, has been signified through them, the first object upon which 
satisfactory explanations of the views of the President are to be given will 
naturally refer to this — and Captain Perry will remark, that the President 
has preferred to give them, through a Naval Officer, rather than through an 
Agent, expressly appointed for the purpose, precisely because he thinks the 
communication may be the more Friendly and Confidential for being en- 
tirely informal. . . . This then will be one of the objects upon which 
Captain Perry will give a full and candid explanation to the existing supreme 
authority of Venezuela. He will state that the good wishes of this Govern- 
ment have been constantly favorable to all the South Americans, and par- 
ticularly to the people of Venezuela. That their good offices have kept 



DOCUMENT 79: MAY 20, 1819 IO3 

pace with their wishes; and although it has been considered, the duty as 
well as the policy of the United States, to observe, in the struggle between 
Spain and her Colonies a faithful and impartial neutrality, yet that the 
countenance which within the bounds of that neutrality, they have given to 
the South Americans, and the part they have taken by negotiation with the 
European powers, has unquestionably contributed, far more efificaciously, to 
promote the cause of South American Independence, than could possibly 
have been accomplished, had the United States made common cause with 
them against Spain. It is now well ascertained that before the Congress of 
the great European Powers at Aix La Chapelle, their mediation had been 
solicited by Spain, and agreed to be given by them for the purpose of restor- 
ing the Spanish Dominion throughout South America, under certain condi- 
tions of commercial privileges to be guaranteed to the Inhabitants. The 
Government of the United States had been informed of this project before the 
meeting at Aix La Chapelle, and that it had been proposed by some of the 
allied powers that the United States should be invited to join them in this 
mediation. When this information was received, the Ministers of the 
United States to France, England, and Russia, were immediately instructed 
to make known to those respective Governments that the L^nited States, 
would take no part in any plan of mediation or interference, in the contest 
between Spain and South America, which should be founded on any other 
basis, than that of the total Independence of the Colonies. This declaration 
was communicated before the meeting, to Lord Castlereagh and to the Duke 
de Richlieu, at the Congress. It occasioned some dissatisfaction to the 
principal allies, particularly France & Russia, as it undoubtedly disconcerted 
their proposed mediation — Great Britain, concurring with them in the plan 
of restoring the Spanish authority, but aware that it could not be carried 
into effect, without the concurrence of the United States, declared it an 
indispensable condition of her participation in the mediation, that there 
should be no resort to Force against the South Americans, whatever the 
result of the mediation might be — To this condition, France and Russia, 
after some hesitation, assented; but they proposed, that if the South Ameri- 
cans should reject the terms of accommodation to be offered them, with the 
sanction of the mediating Powers, they should prohibit all commercial inter- 
course of their subjects respectively with them. To this condition Great 
Britain declined giving her assent; her motive for which is sufficiently obvious, 
when it is considered that after the Declaration of the United States, the 
practical operation of such a non-intercourse between the allies and the 
South Americans, would have been to transfer to the United States the 
whole of the valuable commerce carried on with them by the merchants of 
Great Britain, As a last expedient it was proposed that the Duke of 
Wellington, should be sent to Madrid, with the joint powers of all the allied 
Sovereigns, to arrange with the Spanish Cabinet, the terms to be offered to 



I04 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

the South Americans, which was again defeated by the Duke's insisting that 
if he should go, a previous entry should be made upon the protocol at Aix 
La Chapelle, that no force against the South Americans, was in any result 
of his Embassy, to be used. But Spain had always connected with the 
project of the mediation, a demand that the Allies should ultimately guar- 
antee the restoration of her authority; and finding that this was not to 
be obtained, she declined accepting the interposition upon any other 
terms. 

But while the Government of the United States have thus taken every 
occasion offered them in the course of events, to manifest their good wishes 
in favor of the South Americans, they have never lost sight of the obligations 
incumbent on them, as avowedly neutral to the contest between them and 
Spain — They have considered this contest as a civil War, the object of 
which, on the part of Spain, was the re-establishment of her supremacy; and 
on the part of the South Americans the establishment of their Independence, 
as Sovereign States — While this struggle continued the United States, as 
neutral to it, could neither recognize the Supremacy for which Spain was 
contending; nor the Independence which the Colonies were asserting by 
Arms — To have recognized the Supremacy of Spain, would have been to 
take her side — To have acknowledged the Independence of the Colonies 
would have been to take theirs, on the very question which was to be de- 
cided by the event of the War. But as neutrals, the duty of the United 
States was to consider the parties, as having equal rights in relation to third 
parties, in every respect, excepting cases which involved the issue of the 
War itself. As a consequence of this neutrality, they could not permit either 
of the parties to fit out equip and arm ships within their jurisdiction, to 
cruize against the other. Neither could they permit any Agent or Oiificer of 
either party to issue Commissions, or enlist men within their Territory for 
purposes of War against the other. The act of Mr. Clemente, in issuing such 
a Commission at Philadelphia, was an outrage upon the neutrality and 
Sovereignty of the United States, which, had he been a regularly accredited 
Agent of a recognized Government, would have been highly offensive — It 
was for acts of the same character that President Washington had demanded 
and obtained the recall of a French Minister, at an early period of the exist- 
ence of this Government; and nothing but an unwillingness to exercise any 
severity which might bear unfavorably upon the South American cause, 
could have justified the forbearance of the Government, to cause Mr. 
Clemente to be prosecuted for the violation of the Law. He had at a subse- 
quent period treated the Government in a disrespectful manner, and the 
President deemed it improper that any communication should be held with 
him. Captain Perry will signify in a delicate and Friendly manner to the 
supreme chief, that it would be agreeable to the President if Mr. Clemente 
should be recalled, unless he should already have left this Country. . . . 



DOCUMENT 79: MAY 20, 1819 I05 

Of all the Governments which have arisen in the Spanish South American 
Colonies, since their struggle to throw off the Domination of Spain, that of 
Buenos Ayres appears to have the strongest claims to be recognized as 
Sovereign and Independent. But every question of National Sovereignty 
and Independence, is a complicated question of right, and of fact — and 
accordingly the words of our own Declaration were, that these United Colo- 
nies, are, and of right aut [ought] to be, free and Independent States. So long 
therefore as this question remains at stake upon the issue of Flagrant War 
no third party can recognize the one contending for Independence as Inde- 
pendent without assuming as decided, the question, the decision of which 
depends upon the issue of the War; and without thereby making itself a 
party to the question — no longer neutral to the question, the recognizing 
power can no longer claim the right of being neutral to the War— These 
positions are clear in principle, and they are confirmed, by the experience of 
our own revolutionary History. The acknowledgement of our Independence 
by France, was the immediate and instantaneous cause of War between 
France and Great Britain. It was not acknowledged by the Netherlands, 
until after the War between them and Great Britain had broken out. It 
was acknowledged by no other European Power, till it had been recognized 
by Great Britain herself at the Peace. Had it been the Interest and policy 
of the United States, to make a common cause with Buenos Ayres, the 
acknowledgement of her Independence would have followed of course — But 
it was the Interest of all South America that the United States should be 
neutral — Neutrality itself was a system which operated altogether in favor 
of the South Americans; for it recognized them as lawful Belligerents, and 
no longer as Spanish subjects. As neutrals it has been in the power of the 
United States, to render services to South America, which they could not 
have rendered them as co-belligerents. Their neutrality has efTectually 
neutralized Europe, whose principal Governments have invariably avowed 
that their wishes, are in favor of Spain; as freely as the United States have 
avowed theirs to be in favor of South America, 

The Government of the United States is convinced that the Independence 
of the Provinces of La Plata, will ultimately be maintained — But while 
Spain is able to maintain a fierce and Bloody War against it, and while the 
whole European alliance not only refuses to acknowledge it, but has been 
in continual active negotiation to devise means of aiding Spain to recover 
her supremacy, the most efficient service the United States could render the 
Provinces, was to pronounce their opinion against every such project, to 
declare their determination to take no part in it, and to manifest their readi- 
ness to recognize the (Government of Buenos Ayres in concert with them. 
This proposal has been made both to Great Britain and France, and will be 
made as soon as circumstances shall render it prudent that it should be 
made to the Emperor of Russia. 



I06 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

In the mean (ime the President is convinced that the precipitate formal 
recognition of the Government of Buenos Ayres on the part of the United 
States, would be highly disadvantageous to both the parties. — Should the 
weakness of Spain induce her still after such an event to consider the United 
States as neutral, the only possible benefit that Buenos Ayres could derive 
from it, and which she does not in the existing state of things possess, would 
be that of having, if she thought proper, Diplomatic and Consular Agents 
in the United States formally accredited — Mr. De Forrest in the correspond- 
ence above mentioned alledges nothing else — His only complaint is, that 
while the Consuls of Spain are admitted before the judicial Tribunals of the 
United States to support and defend the Commercial Interests of Spanish 
subjects generally, the people of Buenos Ayres have not the same advantage, 
because they cannot have a Consul Officially recognized as such — The 
answer given to him was, that this inconvenience arose not from any in- 
equality in the treatment of the two parties as Belligerents, but to the in- 
equality arising from the nature of the contest itself — the Sovereignty of 
Spain not being contested, and having been recognized before the existence 
of the War, while that of Buenos Ayres could only be established by its 
issue. 

Captain Perry will reside on shore at Buenos Ayres until the arrival of a 
Frigate which is to follow him thither, and of which he will then take the 
command. In the interval you will give him such instructions with regard 
to the employment, of both the Ships, upon the South American Coast as 
the service of the Navy Department may call for — Captain Perry will 
report as frequently as opportunities of conveyance may render practicable, 
directly to this Department, or if you think proper to the Department of the 
Navy for communication to this, all his proceedings under these instructions, 
and all interesting information respecting the condition, of the Countries 
which he is to visit — their internal situation and prospects, and the successive 
fortunes of the War in which they are engaged. 

A letter to J. B. Prevost is herewith transmitted, which Captain Perry 
unless he should meet him at Buenos Ayres, will forward to him wherever 
he may learn it will be most likely to find him. It is a duplicate of one 
already despatched to Mr. Prevost by Mr. Graham. It directs Mr. Prevost 
to repair immediately to Buenos Ayres; and upon his arrival there, it will 
be no longer necessary for Captain Perry to remain there — He will furnish 
Mr. Prevost with a copy of these instructions, which will serve as a guide to 
him so far as they can be executed by him — Mr. Prevost will then remain at 
Buenos Ayres, to receive further instructions from this Department, and 
Captain Perry rejoining his ship, take the directions which your further 
instructions shall prescribe to him. Should Mr. Prevost be already there, 
when he arrives, he will communicate immediately these instructions to him, 
and make in concert with him the communication herein authorized, to the 



DOCUMENT 80: JUNE 3, 1819 IO7 

Supreme Director. In this case it will not be necessary for him to prolong 
his residence on shore at Buenos Ayres. 

The Compensation, for this extra service, to Captain Perry, will be at 
the rate of One Thousand Dollars a year, while he is on shore or absent from 
his ship, without suspension of his regular compensation in the naval service. 

Should you on perusal of the enclosed paper from the President, think 
proper to make any addition to these instructions, founded upon it, you 
will have the goodness to give such directions accordingly. 

I am [etc.]. 



80 

John Qtiincy Adams, Secretary of State, to George W. Campbell, United States 

Minister to Russia ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, Junes, iSig. 

The course of policy pursued by the European Governments and by the 
United States on this subject has been that of neutrality. But Europe has 
been neutral with a leaning of inclination on the side of authority and Spain, 
while the United States have been neutral, with a leaning of inclination on 
the side of liberty and South America. The United States have manifested 
the sincerity and earnestness of their neutrality by repeated acts of Legisla- 
tion, to secure its effectual preservation, by many adjudications in their 
Tribunals restoring property captured in violation of their neutral principles 
and by resisting frequent and earnest applications from the Governments 
organized in South America, to be recognized as Sovereign and Independent. 
Great Britain has recognized the obligations of neutrality by refusing to 
prohibit, at the requisition of Spain that Commercial intercourse between 
her subjects and the South Americans, which existed only by the overthrow 
of the Spanish dominion; and by a proclamation prohibiting British subjects 
from serving either the King of Spain or the South Americans in this Civil 
War. Individuals, as well British subjects as Citizens of the United States 
have, in a great multitude of cases, disregarded the neutral duties and in- 
junctions of their respective Countries, and taken side with Spain or with 
South America, according to the dictates of their individual interests or 
inclinations. It is remarkable, however, that the national feeling of England 
has been strongly manifested on the side of the South Americans, by the well 
known fact that, while thousands of British subjects have joined the revolu- 
tionary South American Standard, a few individuals are known to have 
engaged in the Royal Service of Spain. The Russian Government has 
1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, VIII, 340. 



I08 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

indeed shown an interest in behalf of Spain which may perhaps not be 
reconcilable with a very rigid neutrality, by the sale of a whole Squadron 
of Ships of War, and by sending them, during the war, full armed to the 
Ports of Spain. Mr. Poletica however does not consider it in this light, 
but as a simple sale, without reference to the objects to which Spain might 
appropriate the ships, and without at all intending to take a decided part 
against the colonies. It is understood also that at the Congress of Aix La 
Chapelle the disposition of Russia against the Colonies and in favor of Spain 
was more strongly marked than that of any other of the powers, and Mr. 
Poletica has made known to me that he was instructed, if the recognition 
of Buenos Ayres by the United States should not have taken place upon his 
arrival here, to use whatever influence he might possess, consistent with a 
due respect and deference for this Government, to dissuade us from the 
adoption of this measure, as an act of hostility against Spain the Emperor's 
ally. 

We have not recognized the Independence of Buenos Ayres, nor is it the 
intention of the President to adopt that measure with precipitation. Should 
it take place after an adjustment of our own differences with Spain, it will 
certainly not be with any views of hostility to her. I shall perhaps at a 
future day, communicate to you more fully the sentiments which The 
President entertains and the principles which he holds to be correct as 
applicable to this contest in its various past and future stages. 



81 

JoJiJt Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to William Lowndes, Chairman of 

the Committee of Foreign Relations of the United States House of 

Representatives ^ 

Washington, December 21, 18 19. 

Sir: In answer to the questions contained in your letter of the loth 
instant, I have the honor to state for the information of the committee — 

1st. That information has been received by the Government of the United 
States, though not through a direct channel, nor in authentic form, that 
another motive besides those alleged in the letter of the Duke of San Fer- 
nando to Mr. Forsyth did operate upon the Spanish cabinet to induce the 
withholding of the ratification of the treaty, namely, the apprehension that 
the ratification would be immediately followed by the recognition by the 
United States of the independence of one or more of the South American 
provinces. It has been suggested that, probably, the most important of the 

1 American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 674. 



DOCUMENT 8l: DECEMBER 21, 1819 IO9 

explanations which the minister to be sent by Spain will be instructed to ask, 
will consist of an explicit declaration of the intentions of this Government 
in that respect. There is reason, also, to believe that the impunity with 
which privateers fitted out, manned, and officered, in one or more of our 
ports, have committed hostilities upon the Spanish commerce, will be 
alleged among the reasons for delay, and perhaps some pledge may be 
required of the effectual execution against these practices of laws which 
appear to exist in the statute book. 

It may be proper to remark that, during the negotiation of the Florida 
treaty, repeated and very earnest efforts were made, both by Mr. Pizarro 
at Madrid, and by Mr. Onis here, to obtain from the Government of the 
United States either a positive stipulation or a tacit promise that the United 
States would not recognise any of the South American revolutionary Govern- 
ments; and that the Spanish negotiators were distinctly and explicitly 
informed that this Government would not assent to any such engagement, 
either express or implied. 

2d. By all the information which has been obtained of the prospective 
views of the French and Russian Governments in relation to the course 
which it was by them thought probable would be pursued by the United 
States, it is apparent that they strongly apprehended the immediate forcible 
occupation of Florida by the United States, on the non-ratification by 
Spain of the treaty within the stipulated time. France and Riissia both 
have most earnestly dissuaded us from that course, not by any regular 
official communication, but by informal friendly advice, deprecating im- 
mediate hostility, on account of its tendency to kindle a general war, which 
they fear would be the consequence of a war between the United States and 
Spain. It was alleged that, in the present state of our controversy with 
Spain, the opinion of all Europe on the point at issue was in our favor, and 
against her; that, by exercising patience a little longer, by waiting, at least, 
to hear the minister who was announced as coming to give and receive 
explanations, we could not fail of obtaining, ultimately, without resort to 
force, the right to which it was admitted we were entitled; but that pre- 
cipitate measures of violence might not only provoke Spain to war, but 
would change the state of the question between us, would exhibit us to the 
world as the aggressors, and would indispose against us those now the most 
decided in our favor. 

It is not expected that, in the event of a war with Spain, any European 
Power will openly take a part in it against the United States; but there is no 
doubt that the principal reliance of Spain will be upon the employment of 
privateers in France and England as well as in the East and West India 
seas and upon our own coast, under the Spanish flag, but manned from all 
nations, including citizens of our own, expatriated into Spanish subjects for 
the purpose. 



no PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

3d. The enclosed copies of letters from Mr. Fromentin contain the most 
particular information possessed by the Executive with regard to the 
subjects mentioned in your third inquiry. In the month of September, a 
corps of three thousand men arrived at the Havana from Spain, one-third 
of whom are said to have already fallen victims to the diseases of that 
climate. By advices from the Havana, as recent as the 4th of this month, 
we are assured that no part of this force is intended to be, in any event, 
employed in Florida. 

4th. A communication from the Secretary of War, also herewith enclosed, 
contains the information requested by the committee upon this inquiry. 

5th. At the time when Captain Read left Madrid, (13th October,) Mr 
Forsyth had no positive information even of the appointment of the person 
who is to come out as the minister. Indirectly, we have been assured that 
he might be expected to arrive here in the course of the present month. 

I am [etc.]. 



82 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to General Francisco Dionisio Vives, 
Spanish Minister to the United States^ 

/ Washington, April 21, 1820. 

Sir :. 1 am directed by the President of the United States to express to you 
the surprise and concern with which he has learned that you are not the 
bearer of the ratification by His Catholic Majesty of the treaty signed on the 
22d February, 1819, by Don Luis de Onis, by virtue of a full power equally 
comprehensive with that which you have now produced — a full power, by 
which His Catholic Majesty promised, "on the faith and word of a King, to 
approve, ratify, and fulfil whatsoever might be stipulated and signed by 
him." 

By the universal usage of nations, nothing can release a sovereign from the 
obligation of a promise thus made, except the proof that his minister, so 
impowered, has been faithless to his trust, by transcending his instructions. 

Your sovereign has not proved, nor even alleged, that Mr. Onis had tran- 
scended his instructions; on the contrary, with the credential letter which 
you have delivered, the President has learned that he has been relieved from 
the mission to the United States only to receive a new proof of the continued 
confidence of His Catholic Majesty, in the appointment to another mission of 
equal dignity and importance. 

On the faith of this promise of the King, the treaty was signed and ratified 

^American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 681. Francisco Dionisio Vives, envoy 
extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Spain to the United States: Presented cre- 
dentials, April 12, 1820. Last official communication from him, September 23, 1821. 



DOCUMENT 83: MAY 3, 1 820 III 

on the part of the United States; and it contained a stipulation that it should 
also be ratified by His Catholic Majesty, so that the ratifications should, 
within six months from the date of its signature, be exchanged. 

In withholding this promised ratification beyond the stipulated period. 
His Catholic Majesty made known to the President that he should forth- 
with despatch a person possessing entirely his confidence to ask certain 
explanations which were deemed by him necessary previous to the perform- 
ance of his promise to execute the ratification. 

The minister of the United States at Madrid was enabled, and offered, to 
give all the explanations which could justly be required in relation to the 
treaty. Your Government declined even to make known to him their 
character; and they are now, after the lapse of more than a year, first officially 
disclosed by you. 

I am directed by the President to inform you that explanations which 
ought to be satisfactory to your Government will readily be given upon all 
the points mentioned in your letter of the 14th instant;^ but that he consid- 
ers none of them, in the present state of the relations between the two coun- 
tries, as points for discussion. It is indispensable that, before entering into 
any new negotiation between the United States and Spain, that relating to 
the treaty already signed should be closed. If, upon receiving the explana- 
tions which your Government has asked, and which I am prepared to give, 
you are authorized to issue orders to the Spanish officers commanding in 
Florida to deliver up to those of the United States who may be authorized 
to receive it, immediate possession of the province, conformably to the stipu- 
lations of the treaty, the President, if such shall be the advice and consent 
of the Senate, will wait (with such possession given) for the ratification of 
His Catholic Majesty till your messenger shall have time to proceed to 
Madrid; but if you have no such authority, the President considers it would 
be at once an unprofitable waste of time, and a course incompatible with the 
dignity of this nation, to give explanations which are to lead to no satis- 
factory result, and to resume a negotiation the conclusion of which can no 
longer be deferred. 

Be pleased to accept [etc.]. 



83 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to General Francisco Dionisio Vives, 
Spanish Minister to the United States - 

Washington, May j, 1820. 

Sir: The explanations upon the points mentioned in your letter of the 14th 
ultimo,^ which I had the honor of giving you at large in the conference 
* See below, pt. xni, doc. 1094. ' American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 683. 



112 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

between us on Saturday last, and the frankness of the assurances which I 
had the pleasure of receiving from you, of your conviction that they would 
prove satisfactory to your Government, will relieve me from the necessity 
of recurring to circumstances which might tend to irritating discussions. 
In the confident expectation that, upon the arrival of your messenger at 
Madrid, His Catholic Majesty will give his immediate ratification to the 
treaty of the 22d February, 1819, I readily forbear all reference to the delays 
which have hitherto retarded that event, and all disquisition upon the perfect 
right which the United States have had to that ratification. 

I am now instructed to repeat the assurance which has already been given 
you, that the representations which appear to have been made to your 
Government of a system of hostility, in various parts of this Union, against 
the Spanish dominions and the property of Spanish subjects, of decisions 
marked with such hostility by any of the courts of the United States, and of 
the toleration in any case of it by this Government, are unfounded. In the 
existing unfortunate civil war between Spain and the South American prov- 
inces, the United States have constantly avowed, and faithfully maintained, 
an impartial neutrality. No violation of that neutrality by any citizen of 
the United States has ever received sanction or countenance from this 
Government. Whenever the laws previously enacted for the preservation 
of neutrality have been found, by experience, in any manner defective, they 
have been strengthened by new provisions and severe penalties. Spanish 
property, illegally captured, has been constantly restored by the decisions 
of the tribunals of the United States; nor has the life itself been spared of 
individuals guilty of piracy committed upon Spanish property on the high 
seas. 

Should the treaty be ratified by Spain, and the ratification be accepted 
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, the boundary line recog- 
nised by it will be respected by the United States, and due care will be taken 
to prevent any transgression of it. No new law or engagement will be neces- 
sary for that purpose. The existing laws are adequate to the suppression of 
such disorders, and they will be, as they have been, faithfully carried into 
effect. The miserable disorderly movement of a number of (not exceeding 
seventy) lawless individual stragglers, who never assembled within the juris- 
diction of the United States, into a territory to which His Catholic Majesty 
has no acknowledged right other than the yet unratified treaty, was so far 
from receiving countenance or support from the Government of the United 
States, that every measure necessary for its suppression was promptly taken 
under their authority; and, from the misrepresentations which have been 
made of this very insignificant transaction to the Spanish Government, there 
is reason to believe that the pretended expedition itself, as well as the gross 
exaggerations which have been used to swell its importance, proceed from 
the same sources, equally unfriendly to the United States and to Spain. 



DOCUMENT 83: MAY 3, 182O II3 

As a necessary consequence of the neutrality between Spain and the South 
American provinces, the United States can contract no engagement not to 
form any relations with those provinces. This has explicitly and repeatedly 
been avowed and made known to your Government, both at Madrid and at 
this place. The demand was resisted both in conference and written corre- 
spondence between Mr. Erving and Mr. Pizarro. Mr. Onis had long and 
constantly been informed that a persistance in it would put an end to the 
possible conclusion of any treaty whatever. Your sovereign will perceive 
that, as such an engagement cannot be contracted by the United States, 
consistently with their obligations of neutrality, it cannot be justly required 
of them; nor have any of the European nations ever bound themselves to 
Spain by such an engagement. 

With regard to your proposals, it is proper to observe that His Catholic 
Majesty, in announcing his purpose of asking explanations of the United 
States, gave no intimation of an intention to require new articles to the 
treaty. You are aware that the United States cannot, consistently with 
what is due to themselves, stipulate new engagements as the price of obtain- 
ing the ratification of the old. The declaration which Mr. Forsyth was in- 
structed to deliver at the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty, with 
regard to the eighth article, was not intended to annul, or in the slightest 
degree to alter or impair, the stipulations of that article; its only object was 
to guard your Government, and all persons who might have had an interest 
in any of the annulled grants, against the possible expectation or pretence 
that those grants would be made valid by the treaty. All grants subsequent 
to the 24th January, 18 18, were declared to be positively null and void; and 
Mr. Onis always declared that he signed the treaty, fully believing that the 
grants to the Duke of Alagon, Count Punon Rostro, and Mr. Vargas, were 
subsequent to that date. But he had, in his letter to me of i6th November, 
1818, declared that those grants were null and void, because the essential 
conditions of the grants had not been fulfilled by the grantees. It was dis- 
tinctly understood by us both that no grant, of whatever date, should be 
made valid by the treaty, which would not have been valid by the laws of 
Spain and the Indies if the treaty had not been made. It was therefore 
stipulated that grants prior to the 24th January, 1818, should be confirmed 
only "to the same extent that the same grants would be valid if the territories 
had remained under the dominion of His Catholic Majesty." This, of 
course, excluded the three grants above mentioned, which Mr. Onis had 
declared invalid for want of the fulfilment of their essential conditions — a 
fact which is now explicitly admitted by you. A single exception to the 
principle that the treaty should give no confirmation to any imperfect title 
was admitted; which exception was, that owners in possession of lands, who, 
by reason of the recent circumstances of the Spanish nation, and the revolu- 
tions in Europe, had been prevented from fulfilling all the conditions of their 



114 PART I: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

grants, should complete them within the terms Hmited in the same from the 
date of the treaty. This had obviously no reference to the above-mentioned 
grants, the grantees of which were not in possession of the lands, who had 
fulfilled none of their conditions, and who had not been prevented from ful- 
filling any of them by the circumstances of Spain or the revolutions of 
Europe. The article was drawn up by me, and, before assenting to it, 
Mr. Onis inquired what was understood by me as the import of the terms 
"shall complete them." I told him that, in connexion with the terms "all 
the conditions," they necessarily implied that the indulgence would be 
limited to grantees who had performed some of the conditions, and who had 
commenced settlements, which it would allow them to complete. These 
were precisely the cases for which Mr. Onis had urged the equity of making a 
provision, and he agreed to the article, fully understanding that it would be 
applicable only to them. When, after the signature of the treaty, there 
appeared to be some reason for supposing that Mr. Onis had been mistaken 
in believing that the grants to the Duke of Alagon, Count Punon Rostro, 
and Mr. Vargas, were subsequent to the 24th of January, 181 8, candor re- 
quired that Spain and the grantees should never have a shadow of ground to 
expect or allege that this circumstance was at all material in relation to the 
bearing of the treaty upon those grants. Mr. Onis had not been mistaken 
in declaring that they were invalid, because their conditions were not ful- 
filled. He had not been mistaken in agreeing to the principle that no grant 
invalid as to Spain should, by the treaty, be made valid against the United 
States. He had not been mistaken in the knowledge that those grantees 
had neither commenced settlements, nor been prevented from completing 
them by the circumstances of Spain or the revolutions in Europe. The 
declaration which Mr. Forsyth was instructed to deliver was merely to cau- 
tion all whom it might concern not to infer, from an unimportant mistake of 
Mr. Onis as to the date of the grants, other important mistakes which he had 
not made, and which the United States would not permit to be made by any 
one. It was not, therefore, to annul or to alter, but to fulfil the eighth article 
as it stands, that the declaration was to be delivered ; and it is for the same 
purpose that this explanation is now given. It was with much satisfaction, 
therefore, that I learned from you the determination of your Government to 
assent to the total nullity of the above-mentioned grants. 

As I flatter myself that these explanations will remove every obstacle to 
the ratification of the treaty by His Catholic Majesty, it is much to be re- 
gretted that you have not that ratification to exchange, nor the power to give 
a pledge which would be equivalent to the ratification. The six months 
within which the exchange of the ratifications were stipulated by the treaty 
having elapsed, by the principles of our constitution the question whether it 
shall now be accepted must be laid before the Senate for their advice and 
consent. To give a last and signal proof of the earnest wish of this Govern- 



DOCUMENT 84: MAY 6, 182O II5 

ment to bring to a conclusion these long-standing and unhappy differences 
with Spain, the President will so far receive that solemn promise of immediate 
ratification, upon the arrival of your messenger at Madrid, which, in your 
note of the 19th ultimo, you declare yourself authorized, in the name of your 
sovereign, to give, as to submit it to the Senate of the United States whether 
they will advise and consent to accept it for the ratification of the United 
States heretofore given. 

But it is proper to apprize you that, if this offer be not accepted, the United 
States, besides being entitled to resume all the rights, claims, and pretensions 
which they had renounced by the treaty, can no longer consent to relinquish 
their claims of indemnity, and those of their citizens, from Spain, for all the 
injuries which they have suffered, and are suffering, by the delay of His 
Catholic Majesty to ratify the treaty. The amount of claims of the citizens 
of the United States, which existed at the time when the treaty was signed, 
far exceeded that which the United States consented to accept as indemnity. 
Their right of territory was, and yet is, to the Rio del Norte. I am in- 
structed to declare that, if any further delay to the ratification by His 
Catholic Majesty of the treaty should occur, the United States could not 
hereafter accept either of $5,000,000 for the indemnities due to their citizens 
by Spain, nor of the Sabine for the boundary between the United States and 
the Spanish territories. 

Please to accept [etc.]. 



84 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to General Francisco Dionisio Vives, 
Spanish Minister to the United States ^ 

Washington, May 6, 1820. 

Sir: In the letter which I have the honor of receiving from you, dated 
yesterday, you observe that you renew the assurance that you will submit 
to His Majesty the verbal discussion we have had on the third point, con- 
cerning which you were instructed to ask for explanations. I have to 
request of you to state specifically the representation which you propose 
to make to His Majesty of what passed between us in conference on this 
subject. 

I pray you to accept [etc.]. 

' American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 685. 



Il6 PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

85 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to General Francisco Dionisio Vives, 
Spanish Minister to the United States^ 

Washington, May 8, 1820. 

Sir: In the letter which I had the honor of writing to you on the 3d 
instant,^ it was observed that all reference would readily be waived to the 
delays which have retarded the ratification by His Catholic Majesty of the 
treaty of the 22d February, 18 19, and all disquisition upon the perfect 
right of the United States to that ratification, in the confident expectation 
that it would be immediately given upon the arrival of your messenger at 
Madrid, and subject to your compliance with the proposal offered you in 
the same note, as the last proof which the President could give of his reli- 
ance upon the termination of the differences between the United States 
and Spain by the ratification of the treaty. 

This proposal was, that, upon the explanations given you on all the 
points noticed in your instructions, and with which you had admitted 
yourself to be personally satisfied, you should give the solemn promise, in 
the name of your sovereign, which, by your note of the 19th ultimo, you 
had declared yourself authorized to pledge, that the ratification should be 
given immediately upon the arrival of your messenger at Madrid; which 
promise the President consented so far to receive as to submit the question 
for the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, whether the 
ratification of Spain should, under these circumstances, be accepted in 
exchange for that of the United States heretofore given. But the President 
has, with great regret, perceived by your note of the 5th instant that you 
decline giving even that unconditional promise, upon two allegations: one, 
that, although the explanations given you on one of the points mentioned 
in your note of the 14th ultimo^ are satisfactory to yourself, and you hope 
and believe will prove so to your sovereign, they still were not such as you 
were authorized by your instructions to accept; and the other, that you 
are informed a great change has recently occurred in the Government 
of Spain, which circumstance alone would prevent you from giving a further 
latitude to your promise previous to your receiving new instructions. 

It becomes, therefore, indispensably necessary to show the absolute 
obligation by which His Catholic Majesty was bound to ratify the treaty 
within the term stipulated by one of its articles, that the reasons alleged 
for his withholding the ratification are altogether insufficient for the jus- 
tification of that measure, and that the United States have suffered by it 
the violation of a perfect right, for which they are justly entitled to indem- 
nity and satisfaction — a right further corroborated by the consideration 

1 American Stale Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 685. 

2 See above, doc. 83, 

3 See below, pt. xiii, doc. 1094. 



DOCUMENT 85: MAY 8, 1 820 II7 

that the refusal of ratification necessarily included the non-fulfilment of 
another compact between the parties which had been ratified — the con- 
vention of August, 1802. 

While regretting the necessity of producing this proof, I willingly repeat 
the expression of my satisfaction at being relieved from that of enlarging 
upon other toplcsof an unpleasant character. I shall allude to none of those 
upon which you have admitted the explanations given to be satisfactory, 
considering them as no longer subjects of discussion between us or our 
Governments. I shall with pleasure forbear noticing any remarks in your 
notes concerning them, which might otherwise require animadversion. 

With the view of confining this letter to the only point upon which fur- 
ther observation is necessary, it will be proper to state the present aspect 
of the relations between the contracting parties. 

The treaty of 22d February, 1819, was signed after a succession of nego- 
tiations of nearly twenty years' duration, in which all the causes of differ- 
ence between the two nations had been thoroughly discussed, and with a 
final admission on the part of Spain that there were existing just claims on 
her Government, at least to the amount of five millions of dollars, due to 
citizens of the United States, and for the payment of which provision was 
made by the treaty. It was signed by a minister who had been several 
years residing in the United States in constant and unremitted exertions 
to maintain the interests and pretensions of Spain involved in the nego- 
tiation — signed after producing a full power, by which, in terms as solemn 
and as sacred as the hand of a sovereign can subscribe. His Catholic Majesty 
had promised to approve, ratify, and fulfil whatever should be stipulated 
and signed by him. 

You will permit me to repeat that, by every principle of natural right, 
and by the universal assent of civilized nations, nothing can release the 
honor of a sovereign from the obligation of a promise thus unqualified, 
without the proof that his minister has signed stipulations unwarranted 
by his instructions. The express authority of two of the most eminent 
writers upon national law to this point were cited in Mr. Forsyth's letter 
of 2d October, 18 19, to the Duke of San Fernando. The words of Vattel 
are: "But to refuse with honor to ratify that which has been concluded in 
virtue of a full power, the sovereign must have strong and solid reasons 
for it; and, particularly, he must show that his minister transcended his 
instructions." 1 The words of Martens are: "Every thing that has been 
stipulated by an agent, in conformity to his full powers, ought to become 
obligatory on the state from the moment of signing, without ever waiting 
for the ratification. However, not to expose a state to the errors of a single 

^ "Mais pour refuser avec honneur de ratifier ce qui a ete conclue en vertu d'un plcin- 
pouvoir, il faut que le souverain en ait de fortes et solides raisons, et qu'il fasse voir, en 
particulier, que son ministre s'est ecarte de ses instructions. Liv. 2, chap. 12, sec. 156. 



Il8 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

person, it is now become a general maxim that public conventions do not 
become obligatory until ratified. The motive of this custom clearly proves 
that the ratification can never be refused with justice, except when he who 
is charged with the negotiation, keeping within the extent of his public full 
powers, has gone beyond his secret instructions, and consequently rendered 
himself liable to punishment, or when the other party refuses to ratify."^ 
In your letter of the 24th ultimo, you observe that these positions have 
already been refuted by your Government, which makes it necessary to 
inquire, as I with great reluctance do, how they have been refuted. 

The Duke of San Fernando, in his reply to this letter of Mr. Forsyth, 
says, maintains, and repeats "that the very authorities cited by Mr. For- 
syth literally declare that the sovereign, for strong and solid reasons, or 
if his minister has exceeded his instructions, may refuse his ratification; 
(Vattel, book 2, chap. 12,) and that public treaties are not obligatory until 
ratified." (Martens, book 2, chap. 3. See note.) In these citations the 
Duke of San Fernando has substituted for the connective term and, in 
Vattel, which makes the proof of instructions transcended indispensable 
to justify the refusal of ratification, the disjunctive term or, which pre- 
sents it as an alternative, and unnecessary on the contingency of other 
existing and solid reasons. Vattel says the sovereign must have strong 
and solid reasons, and particularly must show that the minister transcended 
his instructions. The Duke of San Fernando makes him say the sovereign 
must have strong and solid reasons, or if his minister has exceeded his in- 
structions. Vattel not only makes the breach of instructions indispensa- 
ble, but puts upon the sovereign the obligation of proving it. The Duke 
of San Fernando cites Vattel not only as admitting that other reasons, 
without a breach of instructions, may justify a refusal of ratification, but 
that the mere fact of such a breach would also justify the refusal, without 
requiring that the sovereign alleging should prove it. 

Is this refutation? 

The only observation that I shall permit myself to make upon it is, to 
mark how conclusive the authority of the passage in Vattel must have been 
to the mind of him who thus transformed it to the purpose for which he 
was contending. The citation from Martens receives the same treatment. 
The Duke of San Fernando takes by itself a part of a sentence — "that 
public treaties are not obligatory until ratified." He omits the preceding 

^ "Ce qui a ete stipule par un subalterne en conformite de son plein-pouvoir devient a la 
rigueur obligatoire pour la nation du moment meme de la signature sans que la ratification 
soit necessaire. Cependant, pour ne pas abandonner le sort des etats aux erreurs d'un seul, 
il a ete introduit par un usage generalement reconnu que les conventions publiques ne 
deviennent obligatoires que lorsqu'elles ont ete ratifiees. Le motif de cet usage indique 
assez qu'on ne pent y provoquer avec justice, que lorsque celui qui est charge des affaires de 
I'etat, en se tenant dans les bornes de son plein-pouvoir publique, a franchi celle, de son 
instruction secrette, et que, par consequent, il s'est rendu punissable." Liv. 2, chap. 3, 
sec. 31. 



DOCUMENT 85: MAY 8, 182O II9 

sentence, by which Martens asserts that a treaty signed in conformity to 
full powers is in rigor obligatory from the moment of signature, without 
waiting for the ratification. He omits the part of the sentence cited, which 
ascribes the necessity of a ratification to a usage founded upon the danger 
of exposing a state to the errors of its minister. He omits the following 
sentence, which explicitly asserts that this usage can never be resorted to 
in justification of a refusal to ratify, unless when the minister has 
exceeded his secret instructions; and thus, with this half of a sentence, 
stripped of all its qualifying context, the duke brings Martens to assert 
that which he most explicitly denies. 

Is this refutation? 

While upon this subject, permit me to refer you to another passage of 
Vattel, which I the more readily cite, because, independent of its weight as 
authority, it places this obligation of sovereigns upon its immovable foun- 
dation of eternal justice in the law of nature. "It is shown by the law of 
nature that he who has made a promise to any one has conferred upon him 
a true right to require the thing promised; and that, consequently, not to 
keep a perfect promise is to violate the right of another, and is as manifest 
an injustice as that of depriving a person of his property. All the tran- 
quillity, the happiness, and security of the human race rest on justice, on 
the obligation of paying a regard to the rights of others. The respect of 
others for our rights of domain and property constitutes the security of 
our actual possessions. The faith of promises is our security for the things 
that cannot be delivered or executed on the spot. There would be no more 
security, no longer any commerce between mankind, did they not believe 
themselves obliged to preserve their faith and keep their word. This obli- 
gation is then as necessary as it is natural and indubitable betv/een nations 
that live together in a state of nature, and acknowledge no superior upon 
earth, to maintain order and peace in their society. Nations and their 
conductors ought, then, to keep their promises and their treaties inviolable. 
This great truth, though too often neglected in practice, is generally acknowl- 
edged by all nations."^ 

The melancholy allusion to the frequent practical neglect of this unques- 

' "Ondemontreendroit naturel.que celui qui promet a quelqu' un a luiconfereun veritable 
droit d'exiger la chose promisee; et que, par consequent, ne point garder une promesse par 
faite, c'est violer le droit d'autrui, c'est une injustice aussi manifeste que celle de depouiller 
quelqu'un de son bien. Toute la tranquillite, le bonheur, et la surete du genre humain 
reposent sur la justice, sur I'obligation de respecter les droits d'autrui. Le respect des 
autres pour nos droits de domaine et de propriete fait la surete de nos possessions actuelles; 
la foi des promesses est notre garant pour les choscs qui ne peuvent etre livrees ou executees 
sur-lc-champ. Plus de sflrete, plus de commerce, entre les hommes, s'ils ne se croient point 
obliges de garder la foi, de tenir leur parole. Cette obligation est, done, aussi necessaire 
qu'elle est naturelle et indubitable entre les nations qui vivcnt ensemble dans I'etat de 
nature, et qui ne connaissent point de superieur sur la terre, pour maintenir I'ordre et la paix 
dans leur societe. Les nations et leurs conductcurs doivent, done, garder inviolablement 
leurs promesses et leurs traites. Cette grande verite, quoique trop souvcnt negligee dans la 
pratique, est generalement reconnue de toutes les nations." Liv. 2, chap. 12, sec. 163. 



120 PART I: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

tionable principle would afford a sufficient reply to your assertion that the 
ratification of treaties has often been refused, though signed by ministers 
with unqualified full powers, and without breach of their instructions. No 
case can be cited by you in which such a refusal has been justly given; 
and the fact of refusal, separate from the justice of the case, amounts to 
no more than the assertion that sovereigns have often violated their engage- 
ments and their duties: the obligation of His Catholic Majesty to ratify 
the treaty signed by Mr. Onis is therefore complete. 

The sixteenth and last article of this treaty is in the following words: 
"The present treaty shall be ratified, in due form, by the contracting par- 
ties, and the ratification shall be exchanged in six months from this time, 
or sooner if possible." On the faith of His Catholic Majesty's promise, 
the treaty was, immediately after its signature, ratified on the part of the 
United States, and, on the i8th of May following, Mr. Forsyth, by an 
official note, informed the Marquis of Casa Yrujo, then Minister of For- 
eign Affairs at Madrid, that the treaty, duly ratified by the United States, 
had been intrusted to him by the President, and that he was prepared to 
exchange it for the ratification of Spain. He added that, from the nature 
of the engagement, it was desirable that the earliest exchange should be 
made, and that the American ship of war Hornet was waiting in the harbor 
of Cadiz, destined in a few days to the United States, and affording an 
opportunity peculiarly convenient of transmitting the ratified treaty to the 
United States. 

No answer having been returned to this note, on the 4th of June Mr. 
Forsyth addressed to the same minister a second, urging, in the most re- 
spectful terms, the necessity of the departure of the Hornet, the just expec- 
tation of the United States that the ratified treaty would be transmitted 
by that vessel, and the disappointment which could not fail to ensue should 
she return without it. 

After fifteen days of further delay, on the 19th of June, Mr. Forsyth was 
informed by a note from Mr. Salmon, successor to the Marquis of Casa 
Yrujo, that "His Majesty, on reflecting on the great importance and inter- 
est of the treaty in question, was under the indispensable necessity of 
examining it with the greatest caution and deliberation before he proceeded 
to ratify it, and that this was all he was enabled to communicate to Mr. 
Forsyth on that point." 

Thus, after the lapse of more than a month from the time of Mr. For- 
syth's first note, and of more than two months from the time when your 
Government had received the treaty, with knowledge that it had been 
ratified by the United States, the ratification of a treaty which His Catholic 
Majesty had solemnly promised, so that it might be exchanged within six 
months from the date of its signature, or sooner if possible, was withheld 
merely to give time to His Catholic Majesty to examifte it; and this treaty 



DOCUMENT 85: MAY 8, 182O 121 

was the result of a twenty years' negotiation, in which every article and 
subject contained in it had been debated and sifted to the utmost satiety 
between the parties, both at Washington and Madrid — a treaty in which 
the stipulations by the Spanish minister had been sanctioned by succes- 
sive references of every point to his own Government, and were, by 
the formal admission of your own note, fully within the compass of his 
instructions. 

If, under the feeling of such a procedure on the part of the Spanish Gov- 
ernment, the minister of the United States appealed to the just rights of 
his country in expressions suited more to the sense of its wrongs than to 
the courtesies of European diplomacy, nothing had till then occurred which 
could have restrained your Government from asking of him any explana- 
tion which could be necessary for fixing its determination upon the rati- 
fication. No explanation was asked of him. 

Nearly two months afterwards, on the loth of August, Mr. Forsyth was 
informed that the King would not come to a final decision upon the ratifica- 
tion without previously entering into several explanations with the Govern- 
ment of the United States, to some of which that Government had given 
rise, and that His Majesty had charged a person possessed of his full con- 
fidence, who would forthwith make known to the United States His Majesty's 
intentions. Mr. Forsyth ofi'ered himself to give every explanation which 
could be justly required; but your Government declined receiving them 
from him, assigning to him the shortness of the time — a reason altogether 
difi'erent from that which you now allege, of the disrespectful character of 
his communications. 

From the loth of August till the 14th of last month, a period of more than 
eight months, passed over, during which no information was given by your 
Government of the nature of the explanations which would be required. 
The Government of the United States, by a forbearance perhaps unexampled 
in human history, has patiently waited for your arrival, always ready to 
give, in candor and sincerity, every explanation that could with any pro- 
priety be demanded. What, then, must have been the sentiments of the 
President upon finding, by your note of the 14th ultimo, that, instead of 
explanations, His Catholic Majesty has instructed you to demand the 
negotiation of another treaty, and to call upon the United States for stipula- 
tions derogatory to their honor, and incompatible with their duties as an 
independent nation? What must be the feelings of this nation to learn 
that, when called upon to state whether you were the bearer of His Catholic 
Majesty's ratification of the treaty to be exchanged upon the explanations 
demanded being given, you explicitly answered that you were not? and, 
when required to say whether you are authorized, as a substitute for the 
ratification, to give the pledge of immediate possession of the territory from 
which the acknowledged just claims of the citizens of the United States were 



122 PART I: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

Stipulated to be indemnified, you still answer that you are not; but refer us 
back to a solemn promise of the King, already pledged before in the full 
power to your predecessor, and to a ratification as soon as possible, already 
stipulated in vain by the treaty which he, in full conformity to his instruc- 
tions, had signed? 

The ratification of that treaty can now no longer be accepted by this 
Government without the concurrence of a constitutional majority of the 
Senate of the United States, to whom it must be again referred. Yet even 
this promise you were, by my letter of the 3d instant, informed that, rather 
than abandon the last hope of obtaining the fulfilment of His Catholic 
Majesty's promise already given, the President would, so far as was con- 
stitutionally within his power, yet accept. 

The assurances which you had given me, in the first personal conference 
between us, of your own entire satisfaction with the explanations given you 
upon all the points on which you had been instructed to ask them, would 
naturally have led to the expectation that the promise which you were 
authorized to give would, at least, not be withheld. From your letter of 
the 5th instant,^ however, it appears that no discretion has been left you to 
pledge even His Majesty's promise of ratification in the event of your being 
yourself satisfied with the explanations upon all the points desired ; that the 
only promise you can give is conditional, and the condition a point upon 
which your Government, when they prescribed it, could not but know it was 
impossible that the United States should comply — a condition incompatible 
with their independence, their neutrality, their justice, and their honor. 

It was also a condition which His Catholic Majesty had not the shadow of 
a right to prescribe. The treaty had been signed by Mr. Onis with a full 
knowledge that no such engagement as that contemplated by it would ever 
be acceded to by the American Government, and after long and unwearied 
efforts to obtain it. The differences between the United States and Spain 
had no connexion with the war between Spain and South America. The 
object of the treaty was to settle the boundaries, and adjust and provide 
for the claims between your nation and ours; and Spain, at no time, could 
have a right to require that any stipulation concerning the contest between 
her and her colonies should be connected with it. As His Catholic Majesty 
could not justly require it during the negotiation of that treaty, still less 
could it afford a justification for withholding his promised ratification after 
it was concluded. 

The proposal which, at a prior period, had been made by the Government 
of the United States to some of the principal Powers of Europe for a recogni- 
tion, in concert, of the independence of Buenos Ayres, was founded, as I 
have observed to you, upon an opinion then and still entertained that this 
recognition must, and would at no very remote period, be made by Spain 
herself; that the joint acknowledgment by several of the principal Powers 

1 See below, pt. xni, doc. 1097. 



DOCUMENT 85: MAY 8, I82O I23 

of the world at the same time might probably induce Spain the sooner to 
accede to that necessity, in which she must ultimately acquiesce, and would 
thereby hasten an event propitious to her own interests, by terminating a 
struggle in which she is wasting her strength and resources without a 
possibility of success — an event ardently to be desired by every friend of 
humanity afflicted by the continual horrors of a war, cruel and sanguinary 
almost beyond example; an event, not only desirable to the unhappy people 
who are suffering the complicated distresses and calamities of this war, but 
to all the nations having relations of amity and of commerce with them. 
This proposal, founded upon such motives, far from giving to Spain the 
right to claim of the United States an engagement not to recognise the 
South American Governments, ought to have been considered by Spain as 
a proof at once of the moderation and discretion of the United States; as 
evidence of their disposition to discard all selfish or exclusive views in the 
adoption of a measure which they deemed wise and just in itself, but most 
likely to prove efficacious by a common adoption of it, in a spirit entirely 
pacific, in concert with other nations, rather than by a precipitate resort 
to it on the part of the United States alone. 

The conditional promise, therefore, now offered by you, instead of the 
positive one which you have declared yourself authorized to give, cannot 
be accepted by the President; and I am constrained to observe that he can 
consider the procedure of your Government, in thus providing you with 
powers and instructions utterly inefficient for the conclusion of the negotia- 
tion with which you are charged, in no other light than as proceeding from 
a determination on its part still to protract and baffle its final successful issue. 
Under these circumstances, he deems it his duty to submit the correspond- 
ence which has passed between us, since your arrival, to the consideration 
of the Congress of the United States, to whom it will belong to decide how 
far the United States can yet, consistently with their duties to themselves, 
and the rights of their citizens, authorize the further delay requested in your 
note of the 5th instant. 

In the conclusion of that note, you have remarked, alluding to a great 
change which appears to have taken place since your departure from 
Madrid in the Government of Spain, that this circumstance alone would 
impose on you the obligation of giving no greater latitude to your promise 
previous to your receiving new instructions. If I have understood you 
right, your intention is to remark that this circumstance alone would restrain 
you, in any event, from giving, without new instructions, the unconditional 
promise of ratification, which, in a former note, you had declared yourself 
authorized, in the name of your sovereign, to give. This seems to be 
equivalent to a declaration that you consider your powers themselves, in 
the extent to which they were intrusted to you, as suspended by the events 
to which you thus refer. If I am mistaken in taking this as your meaning, 



124 PART I: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

will you have the goodness to inform me how far you do consider your 
powers affected by the present state of your information from Spain? 
Please to accept [etc.]. 



86 

President James Monroe to the United States House of Representatives ^ 

Washington, May p, 1820. 

To THE House of Representatives of the United States : 

I communicate to Congress a correspondence which has taken place 
between the Secretary of State and the envoy extraordinary and minister 
plenipotentiary of His Catholic Majesty, since the message of the 27th 
March last, respecting the treaty which was concluded between the United 
States and Spain on the 22d February, 18 19. 

After the failure of His Catholic Majesty for so long a time to ratify the 
treaty, it was expected that this minister v/ould have brought with him the 
ratification, or that he would have been authorized to give an order for the 
delivery of the territory ceded by it to the United States. It appears, 
however, that the treaty is still unratified, and that the minister has no 
authority to surrender the territory. The object of his mission has been to 
make complaints, and to demand explanations, respecting an imputed 
system of hostility, on the part of citizens of the United States, against the 
subjects and dominions of Spain, and an unfriendly policy in their Govern- 
ment, and to obtain new stipulations against these alleged injuries, as the 
condition on which the treaty should be ratified. 

Unexpected as such complaints and such a demand were, under existing 
circumstances, it was thought proper, without compromitting the Govern- 
ment as to the course to be pursued, to meet them promptly, and to give the 
explanations that were desired on every subject with the utmost candor. 
The result has proved, what was sufficiently well known before, that the 
charge of a systematic hostility being adopted and pursued by citizens of the 
United States against the dominions and subjects of Spain is utterly destitute 
of foundation; and that their Government, in all its branches, has main- 
tained with the utmost rigor that neutrality in the civil war between Spain 
and the colonies which they were the first to declare. No force has been 
collected, nor incursions made, from within the United States, against the 
dominions of Spain; nor have any naval equipments been permitted in favor 
of either party against the other. Their citizens have been warned of the 
obligations incident to the neutral condition of their country; the public 
officers have been instructed to see that the laws were faithfully executed, 
and severe examples have been made of some who violated them. 
1 American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 676. 



DOCUMENT 86: MAY 9, 182O I25 

In regard to the stipulation proposed as the condition of the ratification 
of the treaty, that the United States shall abandon the right to recognise 
the revolutionary colonies in South America, or to form other relations with 
them, when, in their judgment, it may be just and expedient so to do, it is 
manifestly so repugnant to the honor and even to the independence of the 
United States that it has been impossible to discuss it. In making this 
proposal, it is perceived that His Catholic Majesty has entirely misconceived 
the principles on which this Government has acted in being a party to a 
negotiation so long protracted for claims so well-founded and reasonable, 
as he likewise has the sacrifices which the United States have made, com- 
paratively with Spain, in the treaty, to which it is proposed to annex so 
extraordinary and improper a condition. 

Had the minister of Spain offered an unqualified pledge that the treaty 
should be ratified by his sovereign on being made acquainted with the 
explanations which had been given by this Government, there would have 
been a strong motive for accepting and submitting it to the Senate for their 
advice and consent, rather than to resort to other measures for redress, 
however justifiable and proper. But he gives no such pledge; on the 
contrary, he declares explicitly that the refusal of this Government to 
relinquish the right of judging and acting for itself hereafter, according to 
circumstances, in regard to the Spanish colonies — a right common to all 
nations — has rendered it impossible for him, under his instructions, to make 
such engagement. He thinks that his sovereign will be induced by his 
communications to ratify the treaty; but still he leaves him free either to 
adopt that measure or to decline it. He admits that the other objections 
are essentially removed, and will not in themselves prevent the ratification, 
provided the difficulty on the third point is surmounted. The result, 
therefore, is, that the treaty is declared to have no obligation whatever; 
that its ratification is made to depend, not on the considerations which led 
to its adoption, and the conditions which it contains, but on a new article, 
unconnected with it, respecting which a new negotiation must be opened 
of indefinite duration and doubtful issue. 

Under this view of the subject, the course to be pursued would appear 
to be direct and obvious, if the affairs of Spain had remained in the state 
in which they were when this minister sailed. But it is known that an 
important change has since taken place in the Government of that country, 
which cannot fail to be sensibly felt in its intercourse with other nations. 
The minister of Spain has essentially declared his inability to act, in con- 
sequence of that change. With him, however, under his present powers, 
nothing could be done. The attitude of the United States must now be 
assumed, on full consideration of what is due to their rights, their interest, 
and honor, without regard to the powers or incidents of the late mission. 
We may, at pleasure, occupy the territory which was intended and pro- 



126 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

vided by the late treaty as an indemnity for losses so long since sustained 
by our citizens; but still nothing could be settled definitively without a 
treaty between the two nations. Is this the time to make the pressure? 
If the United States were governed by views of ambition and aggrandize- 
ment, many strong reasons might be given in its favor. But they have no 
objects of that kind to accomplish; none which are not founded in justice, 
and which can be injured by forbearance. Great hope is entertained that 
this change will promote the happiness of the Spanish nation. The good 
order, moderation, and humanity which have characterized the movement 
are the best guaranties of its success. The United States would not be 
justified in their own estimation should they take any step to disturb its 
harmony. When the Spanish Government is completely organized, on 
the principles of this change, as it is expected it soon will be, there is just 
ground to presume that our differences with Spain will be speedily and 
satisfactorily settled. 

With these remarks, I submit it to the wisdom of Congress whether it 
will not still be advisable to postpone any decision on this subject until 
the next session. 



87 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Charles S. Todd (Baltimore) , Con- 
fidential Agent of the United States to Colombia^ 

Washington, June 5, 1820. 

Sir: The copies of Instructions^ heretofore given to Baptis Irvine Esq. 
and to the late Commodore Perry, which have been furnished you, will put 
you in possession of the general views of the President, respecting the 
agency with which you are charged, and also of the claims of several citi- 
zens of the U. S. for depredations upon their property committed under 
color of authority from the Govt, lately styled that of the Republic of 
Venezuela. 

Since those Instructions were given, the Congress of Venezuela by a public 
act on the 17th of Dec. 1819, declared the Republics of Venezuela, and of 
New-Grenada, to be united under the denomination of the Republic of 
Colombia. 

By the same Act the General Congress of Colombia is to assemble on 

1 MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, i8o. Charles S. Todd, of Kentucky: 
Confidential agent, appointed, February 22, 1820, to obtain information concerning condi- 
tion of affairs in Colombia, the relations with Spain, and concerning claims of citizens of 
United States against Colombia. Returned to United States about January 19, 1824. 
Commissioned secretary of legation, January 27, 1823, but declined. 

2 See above, docs. 41) and 79, Adams to Irvine, January 31, 181 8, and Adams to Thompson, 
Secretary of Navy, May 20, 1819, suggesting instructions for Captain Perry. 



DOCUMENT 87: JUNE 5, 1820 127 

the first of Jany. next at the city of Rosario de Cucuta, where they are to 
form a new constitution for the RepubHc. 

It is the wish of the President that you should repair as soon as you shall 
find it convenient to the seat of Govt, of this Republic which is yet at 
Angostura, but will probably be soon or at least before the meeting of the 
Congress, transferred to Cucuta. You will make known your authority 
to the existing Govt., which has undergone so frequent and essential changes, 
that the persons whom you will find in power, will very probably be differ- 
ent from those most recently known to us. Your appointment being to a 
country in a state of Revolution, you will give no unnecessary publicity 
to it. 

The principal object of your attention will be to procure and transmit 
to this Dept. as frequently as you may have opportunity correct informa- 
tion concerning the state of the country & the progress of its affairs both 
political and military. The state of their relations with Spain since the 
recent changes of Govt, there will be peculiarly interesting. If as has 
heretofore been the case, there should be strong internal parties constantly 
operating against one another, you will cautiously abstain from taking any 
side among them, or interposing in any manner with their concerns. 

In the answer of Dr. Roscio to the representation made by Captain Perry 
in behalf of Messrs. Nicklye & Lowell, it is admitted that the condemnation 
of the Schooner Paloma & Cargo was invalid by the defect of legality in 
the Commission of the captor & of power in the jurisdiction which tried 
the case to adjudicate a prize made by a privateer not then belonging to 
Venezuela — but this admission is annulled for all purposes of justice, or 
restitution to the injured parties by the assertion that the government of 
Venezuela had a right to retain them as enemy's property which had fallen 
into their hands. This is incorrect in principle. The decision of a com- 
petent tribunal of admiralty is according to the Laws of Nations, the only 
means by which the fact could be ascertained whether the property belonged 
to enemies or neutrals — No such tribunal having had possession of the 
cause, the Government of Venezuela, could not take it for granted that the 
property was Spanish, upon the faith of any proceedings before an incom- 
petent tribunal — The Vice President of Venezuela could not be authorized 
to constitute himself a Court of Appeal from a tribunal which had con- 
fessedly no jurisdiction in the case; nor assume to give legality to that which 
it is acknowledged had been done in violation of all Law. He could not 
possess authority to summon either of the parties before him, or to require 
of them the production of any testimony whatever — The proceedings sug- 
gested by Dr. Roscio, have been if pursued, equally arbitrary and irregular 
with those of the former trial — It is not doubted that before a competent 
tribunal the property would have been proved to belong to Messrs. Lowell 
and Nicklye, because such is confidently believed to have been the fact; 



128 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

but the admission of the principle, that the whole question should be re- 
vised and decided by the Vice President of Venezuela, not as a regular 
Court of Appeal, but by a Jurisdiction assumed for the occasion, would 
be so contrary not only to the ordinary usages of Nations, but to the maxims 
which form the safeguard of human rights and liberties in the mutual inter- 
course of mankind, that it is hoped a different course will be adopted, and 
the property restored, with compensation to the parties injured, without 
subjecting them to incur further expenses, or to produce proofs which 
could not with propriety be required of them. 

In the case of the Tyger, the letter of Dr. Roscio positively promises 
that restoration and compensation both for the vessel and the cargo shall 
be made. You will therefore in behalf of the owners use every suitable 
exertion to have this Promise carried into effect. 

The promise of restitution is equally positive with regard to the schooner 
Liberty, but it is asserted that her cargo was justly condemned on the 
ground of her being taken in the Act of carrying provisions to a blockaded 
place. The objection to the regularity of the proceedings in the trial of 
this case appears upon the fact of the papers to be as strong as in the others, 
and from the correspondence of Mr. Irvine with General Bolivar, the fact 
of the Blockade itself appears to have been fully though perhaps less cour- 
teously than might have been desired, disproved. 

In all these cases, the interests of our fellow-citizens who have suffered 
by these transactions are confidently committed to your zeal and assiduous 
attention. In your communications with the proper authorities, you will 
be careful to preserve a tone and manner at once firm and conciliatory. 
Yielding no principle of right and justice, but using no harsh or offensive 
expressions. The papers relating to these cases which are supposed to be 
in the possession of Mr. Irvine will be forwarded to you as soon as they can 
be obtained; and I would recommend to 30U to correspond directly with 
the parties interested concerning their claims and with the view to obtain 
effectual justice for them. 

Dr. Roscio mentions in the communications to Commodore Perry the 
Spanish Regulations of Letters of Marque and Privateers, which he says have 
been adopted in Venezuela with certain Modifications. I will thank you 
to obtain and forward to this Department a copy of this Ordinance as mod- 
ified by the adoption of Venezuela. 

The system of privateering, which has been carried on from several of 
the ports and by too many of the citizens of the United States under the 
various South American flags has been a reproach and calamity to this 
Country. Though disavowed by all the South American governments 
and among the rest by that of Venezuela, as its tendency was to annoy 
their enemy, none of them have discountenanced it so explicitly as we had 
a right to expect they would; nor has any one of them taken effectual 



DOCUMENT 87: JUNE 5, 182O I29 

measures for its suppression. Until the Act of 3 March 1819 to protect 
the Commerce of the United States and punish the crime of Piracy had 
passed, our own Laws had been found insufficient to secure the property 
of our own countrymen or of friendly Nations against these unhallowed 
robberies wearing the mask of patriotism. The solicitude of Congress 
to put an end to these shameful practices has been further manifested by 
two acts passed at their session recently concluded — one of which is an 
Act to continue the Act above mentioned, and to make further provision 
for punishing the crime of piracy; and another, an Act designating the 
ports within which only foreign armed vessels shall be permitted to enter. 
Under the Act of 3 March 18 19 numerous convictions have already taken 
place, and several of the criminals have paid the forfeit of their lives. It is 
to be lamented howev^er that the hand of Justice hitherto has fallen more 
upon the mere instruments than upon the still more guilty movers and 
causers of these atrocious deeds; many of whom have hitherto eluded detec- 
tion or evaded conviction. The trials have in several cases disclosed scenes 
from which humanity turns with abhorrence; but which are the natural 
and unavoidable consequences of privateering by the people of one Nation 
under the banners of another. Among your important duties will be that 
of contributing by every proper exertion in your power to the total suppres- 
sion of this evil. Friendly explanations were given by Commodore Perry 
to the Vice President of Venezuela, concerning the object and intention of 
the act of 3 March 18 19 and of the act of the same session against the Slave- 
trade; which from the answer returned by Dr. Roscio, appear to have been 
satisfactory; but the list of armed ships and privateers sailing under the 
real flag of Venezuela, requested by Commodore Perry was not furnished, 
nor was any notice taken of his application to obtain it. The act of 15 
May last unites both objects which had been separately acted upon at the 
former session, and declares the Slave-trade itself, by citizens of the United 
States Piracy, punishable by Death. 

You will give information of these acts of the last session to the Gov- 
ernment, and suitable explanations concerning them, in the spirit of those 
given by Commodore Perry, with regard to the acts of the preceding Ses- 
sion. You will renew the application in the most friendly manner for a 
list of the armed vessels in the actual service of the Republic, and if you 
obtain it, forward a copy of it to this Department. If the request to fur- 
nish this list should be declined, you will transmit to us lists of such armed 
vessels publicly known to belong to Venezuela, and from the most correct 
information that you can obtain, designate those really armed in their 
ports from those fitted out in ours, in violation of our Laws, or elsewhere 
not in the ports of Venezuela. You will urge without importunity but 
whenever a suitable occasion for it may present itself the necessity for a 
real discountenance to the practice of assuming their flag by foreigners — 



130 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

for an establishment of admiralty courts to proceed upon principles and 
with forms recognized by all established Governments — for subjecting the 
owners and commanders of privateers to effective bonds, to guard against 
the heavy abuses to which this species of armed force is more than all others 
liable, and for inspiring neutral and foreign nations with confidence in the 
justice of their proceedings, as the most substantial guarantee to the sta- 
bility of their new Institutions. 

With regard to the formal recognition by the Government of the U. S. 
of the Republic of Colombia, should any thing be said to you, the obvious 
reply will be that you have not been authorized to discuss the subject — 
As a reason for this reserve it may be alleged that besides the actual war 
still waged by Spain, during which the Independence of the other party, 
could not be acknowledged without a departure from our avowed and long 
established system of neutrality, the changes still occurring will require 
some lapse of time to give to the Republic that character of permanency 
which would justify the formal acknowledgment of it by foreign powers. 
The Union decreed by the Congress was the immediate result of military 
operations, and appears not to have been authorized by delegations of 
power to form it, from either the people of Venezuela or of New Granada. 
The Congress which may sanction it, and form a definitive constitution 
for the whole Republic are to assemble on the first of January next, and an 
exact account of their proceedings as well as of the manner by which its 
members may be elected and the portions of Country represented by them 
will be among the interesting communications which we shall expect to 
receive from you. 

I am [etc.]. 



88 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to John M. Forbes {New York), 
Special Agent of the United States to Chile or Bitenos Aires ^ 

Washington, July 5, 1820. 

Sir: The certificate from this Department, which has been made out and 
transmitted to you, constitutes you agent for commerce and seamen for 
either of the provinces of Buenos Ayres or of Chili, in whichsoever of them 
Mr. J. B. Prevost shall not be. He is at this time at Buenos Ayres; but 
having, at one period, intimated to the President a preference to return to 
Chili, where he some time resided, it is thought due to him to leave the selec- 
tion of his residence, after your arrival at Buenos Ayres, to himself. Should 

^American State Papers, Foreign Relations, \\, 820. John M. Forbes, of Florida: 
Commissioned charge d'affaires to Argentine Confederation, March 9, 1825. Was com- 
missioned as secretary of legation at Buenos Aires, January 27, 1823. Acted as charge 
d'affaires from June 10, 1824. Died at his post, June 14, 1831. 



DOCUMENT 88: JULY 5, l820 I3I 

he determine to continue there, you will proceed, either by land over the 
Andes, or in the frigate Constellation round Cape Horn, to Valparaiso, and 
take up your residence there, or at St. Jago de Chili, which is understood to 
be the seat of the revolutionary Government of that province. If he should 
prefer to return thither, you will remain at Buenos Ayres.^ 

The commercial intercourse between the United States and those coun- 
tries, though not very considerable, is deserving of particular attention. 
Whatever accurate information you can obtain relating to it, as well as to the 
commerce of those countries with other nations, and to their internal trade, 
will be particularly acceptable. The condition of our seamen there will 
also deserve your notice. The performance of these duties will involve also 
the political relations between those countries and the United States. In 
the progress of their revolution, Buenos Ayres and Chili have, to the extent 
of their powers, and, indeed, far beyond their natural means, combined mari- 
time operations with those of their war by land. Having no ships or seamen 
of their own, they have countenanced and encouraged foreigners to enter 
their service, without always considering how far it might affect either the 
rights or the duties of the nations to which those foreigners belonged. The 
privateers which, with the commissions and under the flag of Buenos Ayres, 
have committed so many and such atrocious acts of piracy, were all either 
fitted out, manned, and officered by foreigners, at Buenos Ayres, or even in 
foreign countries, not excepting our own, to which blank commissions, both 
for the ships and officers, have been sent. In the instructions to the late 
Commodore Perry, (which his lamented decease prevented from being exe- 
cuted by him, and a copy of which is now furnished to you,) certain articles 
in the Buenos Ayrean privateering ordinance were pointed out, particularly 
liable to the production of these abuses, and which, being contrary to the 
established usages among civilized nations, it was hoped would have been 
revoked, or made to disappear from their otherwise unexceptionable code. 
These instructions were renewed to Com^modore Morris; but the time of his 
stay at Buenos Ayres was so short, and he was there at a moment of so great 
a change in the ruling power of the state, that, although he communicated 
to the then existing Director the substance of the representations which 
Commodore Perry had been instructed to make, we know not that it was 
attended with any favorable result. You will consider the parts of Commo- 
dore Perry's instructions which may be still applicable on your arrival in 
South America as directed to yourself, and, should you proceed to Chili, will 
execute them there, no communication upon the subject having yet been 
made there. Among the inconveniences consequentVnpon this system of 
carrying on maritime warfare by means of foreigners, has been occasionally, 
and to a considerable extent, the enticement of seamen belonging to mer- 

' See below, pt. n, note i to doc. 260. Forbes to Secretary of State, December 4, 1820, for 
an explanation of the reason why F"orbes remained at Buenos Aires. 



132 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

chant vessels in the ports of Buenos Ayres and ChiH from their engage- 
ments, to enUst them in privateers or pubUc armed vessels of those countries. 
In attending to the numerous trials and convictions for piracy which have 
recently afflicted our country, and cast an unusual gloom over our annals, 
you will remark that a great proportion of the guilty persons have been sea- 
men thus engaged, foreigners at Buenos Ayres, or enlisted in our own ports, 
in violation of our laws. Whether at Buenos Ayres or in Chili, you will use 
every exertion in your power, consistent with the respect and conciliatory 
deportment to be constantly observed towards the existing public authori- 
ties, to protect the seamen of the United States from all such enlistments, 
and the owners and masters of the merchant vessels from time to time 
arriving there from the loss of their men by such means. 

The Commercial Digest of the Laws of Foreign Countries with which the 
United States are in relation, a copy of which has been furnished you, may 
suggest to you the nature of part of the information which is desirable from 
South America. 

Political information will be equally acceptable. The more particular and 
correct the information of this nature which you can obtain, the more ac- 
ceptable it will prove. Besides the struggle in South America for independ- 
ence, against which Spain is the only opposite party, internal feuds and civil 
wars have peculiarly marked every step of the revolutions in progress upon 
that theatre;' As an agent and citizen of the United States, the first advice 
I shall give you is, to observe and report, with all the vigilance and discern- 
ment, and penetration and fidelity to your own country, that you possess, 
the movements of all parties, but to make yourself a partisan to none. From 
the documents lately received here, it is apparent that a negotiation has 
been some time on foot between the late Government of Buenos Ayres and 
France. It is well known that a negotiation of much longer standing has 
existed between the same Government and Portugal; nor has Mr. Rivadavia 
been residing two or three years to no purpose in England. To ascertain 
the real movements of all these parties, a neutral position, a neutral heart, 
and an observing mind, are indispensable. In recommending it to your 
attention, I would add the caution, neither to take upon trust what any man 
shall tell you, without asking yourself what it is his interest or wish that you 
should believe, nor to give more weight to conjectures than the circumstances 
under which they are formed will warrant. 

By the latest accounts that we have received, the Government, the Con- 
gress, and the constitution of the provinces of La Plata were overthrown; 
the province of Buenos Ayres stood alone, with Don Manuel de Sarratea as 
governor, at its head. They were in negotiation with General Artigas, of the 
Oriental Banda, and with General Ramirez, commander of the Monteneros. 
In what those negotiations will result, we are to learn hereafter; and what 
their effect will be upon the relations of all with the Portuguese at Monte- 



DOCUMENT 89: JULY 7, 1 820 I33 

video is yet to be seen. Should you remain at Buenos Ayres, we shall expect 
full communications from you as frequently as opportunities for transmitting 
them may occur. 
I am [etc.]. 



89 

John Qiiincy Adams, Secretary of State, to John M. Forbes (New York), 
Special Agent of the United States to Chile or Bue?ios Aires ^ 

Washington, July 7, 1820. 

Sir: A letter from Mr. Prevost to this department of 20th March 1819 
enclosed a representation addressed to him from Mr. Echevarria, Secretary 
of State of the Government of Chili complaining of certain transactions of 
Captain Biddle while in the command of the U. S. corvette Ontario, in the 
South Sea during the years 1817 and 181 8. Although a full year has 
elapsed since this letter of Mr, Prevost was received, yet as the orders for 
his removal to Buenos Ayres, had already been despatched to him, no 
opportunity has until now occurred for giving to the government of Chili 
the explanations concerning those transactions which the President hopes 
will prove satisfactory to them. 

There are herewith enclosed a translation of the complaint of Mr. Echevar- 
ria and of the answer to it which has been given by Captain Biddle upon 
reference of the complaint to him by the Navy department. From these 
papers you will collect the facts from which you will make such a com- 
munication to the Government of Chili, as may at once tend to justify the 
conduct of Captain Biddle, and to manifest the disposition entirely friendly 
of the President towards Chili. It is apparent that the intentions of Cap- 
tain Biddle were altogether of that character; and that if in one or two 
incidents they had unfortunately a different appearance, it arose from 
circumstances unknown to him and over which he had no controul. It is 
observed by Mr. Prevost "that there exists a peculiar sensibility (in Chili) to 
every act emanating from the Government (of the U. S.) or done by an 
individual although strictly neutral. They seem (he adds) to claim a sym- 
pathy from us in their struggle that they look for no where else, and cannot 
bear any circumstance that indicates a contrary feeling." You will be 
careful to avoid giving umbrage to this sensibility and jealousy, as far as 
may be compatible with the rights and duties of our neutrality, which you 

• MS. Dispatches to Ignited States Consuls, II, 194. An instruction dated July 6, 1820, 
addressed to Forbes indicates that while he was charged with making representations to the 
Chilean Government on losses suffered by a United States merchant vessel he was to go to 
Buenos Aires and conduct them from there unless he should find it necessary to go in person 
to Chile. The instruction to Prevost of July lo, 1820 (see below, pt. i, doc. 90) states that 
Forbes was carrying a commission to either place and would reside at that one of the two 
where Prevost might prefer not to reside. See below, pt. u, note I to doc. 260. 



134 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

will in no instance either infringe or surrender. The Government of the 
U. S. have unequivocal proofs of their friendly Sentiments towards the 
South Americans in general and those of Chili in particular. The President 
would lament any occurrence which should tend to awaken other feelings, 
either there or here. He relies upon your discretion, and conciliatory 
deportment, to make these Sentiments manifest, and at the same time to 
secure to the U. S. and their citizens, that Justice which is their undoubted 
right, and their only claim in return. 
I am, [etc.]. 

P.S. With reference to the complaint against Captain Biddle, I enclose 
an extract from the instructions which have been given by the Navy depart- 
ment to the Commanders of our armed vessels, a copy of which you are at 
liberty to communicate to the Government of Chili. 

Papers enclosed : ^ 

1. Mr. Echevarria to Mr. Prevost (translation). 

2. Captain Biddle to the President (copy). 

3. Extract of Instructions from Navy Department to Commanders 

of U. S. vessels. 



90 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to John B. Prevost {Buenos Aires), 
Special Agent of the United States to Buenos Aires, Chile and Peru'^ 

Washington, July lo, 1820. 

Sir: I have had the honour of receiving letters from you of the following 
dates, with the enclosures to which they respectively refer, excepting the 
new Tariff referred to in that of the 13th September 18 19 and the paper 
marked 4 in that of 16 May 1819, copies of which you are requested to 
forward. Dates — 3 & 4 Octr. & 25 Novr. 1817 — 9 & 13 Feb. — 8 March, 9 
April, 10 & 20 June, 8 & 27 July & 11 Novr. 1818 — 15 Janry. 20 March, 15 
April, 16 May, 3 July, 13 & 25 Septr. and 12 Deer. 1819 — and 10 Janry. 
14 Febry. and 9, 15 and 21 March 1820. 

The documents relating to a project of Negotiation with France, and 
the proceedings of the late Congress upon them, are of a very interesting 

1 Not printed. The Chilean complaint against Biddle grew out of a charge made by 
Lord Cochrane that when in Chilean waters Biddle had carried on his vessel Spanish sub- 
jects from Lima, assumed to be spies. The charge also said Biddle neglected and after- 
wards refused to salute the Chilean flag; and that he had on board $920,000 belonging to 
enemies of Chile. The last two charges were not pressed. 

^ MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 196. See above, note i to doc. 89. 
For the dispatches acknowledged which are pertinent to this collection, see below, under 
these dates, in pt. V, except that of January 15, 1819, which is in pt. xi, and those subsequent 
to September 13, 1819, which are in pt. 11. 



DOCUMENT 90: JULY lO, 1 820 1 35 

nature;^ though some obscurity rests upon the real intentions of the 
Congress in the countenance which they appear to have given to the project 
of the late French Minister of foreign affairs — Other copies of the documents 
transmitted by you have found their way to this country, and with them, 
one, w*^. seems not to have been known to you, and which has a tendency to 
change in some degree the aspect of the proceedings of the Congress. If 
the prosecution of the members who took part in that Negotiation which 
you mention as to be commenced should be carried through it will probably 
produce new and further interesting lights upon the history of South Ameri- 
can afl'airs — We long since understood that Mr. Rivadavia went originally 
to Spain with proposals not unlike those which appear in these papers to 
come jrom the French Minister to Mr. Gomez — We have heard also of 
another Negotiation, said to have been commenced through an officer of the 
Spanish regiment of Cantabria, taken prisoner, perhaps in the frigate 
Iphigenia; and of which if you can obtain correct information it will be 
acceptable to learn the sequel — The refusal of the Director Pueyrredon to 
agree to an article, by which the U. S. should be placed upon a footing of 
commercial intercourse, equal to that of other nations, was more deeply 
rooted than might appear from Mr. Tagle's answer to your note. 

The Constellation frigate, captain Ridgely goes into the Pacific to take 
the place of the Macedonian which is to return home. By this occasion 
Mr. Forbes goes out with a mission similar to yours — The President leaves 
it entirely at your option to remain at Buenos Ayres in which case Mr. 
Forbes will proceed to Chili; or to return there in which case he will be 
definitively fixed at Buenos Ayres — His commission is to either of the two, 
at which you shall not be; an alternative directed by the President for the 
express purpose of leaving your future residence at the one or the other to 
your own choice.' There is however one subject which the President has 
thought it would be most satisfactory to you to leave to the management 
of Mr. Forbes: it is the claim of the owners of the Macedonian and of the 
money taken by Lord Cochrane from Captain Smith and from the French 
vessel the Gazelle. The owners of that property are citizens of the U. S. 
of respectable character — No complaint has been made by them of the 
course which you thought it advisable to take in this case nor have they 
expressed a wish that the representations in their behalf to the Chilian 
Government should be given in charge to any other person — But you are 
doubtless aware that Captain Smith himself has intimated apprehensions 
that your favourable opinions of the South Americans might have some 
bias upon your judgment, unfriendly to the interests of his owners; and 

^ For further reference to this negotiation with P'rance, see below, pt. i, doc. 93, Secretary 
of State to Forbes, July 12, 1820, and pt. n, doc. 254, Prevost to .Adams, March 20, 1820, 
especially note i thereto. 

* See below, pt. H, doc. 260, F"orbes to Secretary of State, December 4, 1820, for an ex- 
planation of the reason why Prevost did not remain at Buenos Aires. 



136 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

that animadversions of a similar character have appeared in the pubHc 
journals of this country — Under these circumstances the President has 
directed that the instructions on this affair should be given in special charge 
to Mr. Forbes. 

He has also directed me to transmit to you the copy of a paper purporting 
to be a letter to the late Supreme Director of Buenos Ayres, from a person 
said to be in Official Station in Chili, relating in so special a manner to you, 
that he has thought you should be made acquainted with it — It is alleged 
to have been intercepted by some officer of the Montoneros and was for- 
warded to this country without comment — The President has doubts 
whether it is a genuine letter; of which however you will be able to judge 
with certainty. 

In the instructions to Commodore Perry and afterwards to Commodore 
Morris, which were communicated to you, there were some observations 
respecting certain articles in the Ordinance of Buenos Ayres for the regu- 
lation of privateers, to which I am under the necessity of requesting you 
to call again the attention of that Government — The cases of Piracy and 
murder committed by the crews of vessels sailing under the flag and with 
commissions of Buenos Ayres, have been numerous and of the most atro- 
cious character. They continue to be committed from day to day, and 
are multiplied to such an extent that even the severest laws made here are 
found ineffectual to suppress them. Within a few months upwards of fifty 
persons have been convdcted and had sentence of death passed upon them 
in the U. S. for crimes of that description committed in vessels bearing 
that flag and commission: but having scarcely an individual Buenos Ayrean 
in them. These crimes are all distinctly to be traced to the Articles in that 
Code against which we have remonstrated — namely, to the article which 
gives the privileges of a Buenos-Ayrean, and a right to their flag, to every 
foreigner, who has never even been in the country; and to that which they 
are the only judges, to send their prizes where they please — There is scarcely 
a Buenos Ayrean privateer which has not committed piracy of every de- 
scription — It appears that at Buenos Ayres itself commissions of Artigas 
have been sold to the Captains of the Buenos Ayres privateers, who have 
gone to sea, and used one or the other commission as suited their purposes — 
Daniels, Captain of the Irresistible, fought during the same cruise under 
the commission of Buenos Ayres; and of Artigas, and long after he had been 
declared a pirate at Buenos Ayres, carried his prizes to the island of Mar- 
garita, where an irregular court has been instituted which condemns vessels 
taken under any of the South American flags and commissions — Within 
these few weeks another privateer called the General Rondeau, commanded 
by a Captain Miles, has been destroyed by a part of her own crew, who 
mutinied, killed one of their officers, and turned off the others, with Captain 
Miles in a boat to the island of. Grenada. — 



DOCUMENT 90: JULY 10, 182O I37 

Captain Miles after reaching the island of Margarita, has published an 
account of the mutiny, in which he says of his crew, "there is no doubt but 
they will capture and rob indiscriminately every vessel they fall in with," 
and expresses great anxiety that "the armed vessels of all nations may be 
on the alert to capture these pirates" — What sort of a personage Captain 
Miles himself is, may be inferred from his having gone to Valparaiso in 
one of his prizes, and there entered her as a merchant vessel of the U. S. 
under forged papers, which were detained and transmitted to this depart- 
ment by Mr. Hill. Of this crew forty or fifty persons have been disgorged 
upon our shores; and a large portion of them are in various prisons, to be 
tried for this piracy upon their Captain— but what security has the Gov- 
ernment of Buenos Ayres against the piracies of Miles? — He had turned 
his back upon Buenos Ayres, and sent all his prizes to Margarita. — There 
is another case of a vessel which has been several months at Norfolk, passing 
under the name of Wilson, with a pretended Captain of the same name 
and clandestinely recruiting men in violation of our Laws. Not ten days 
since she sailed from Norfolk, and has already taken a Spanish vessel bound 
to Baltimore, almost within our own jurisdiction — her name is now the Boli- 
var and her Captain Almeida, the same man who commanded the Louisa, 
with whose piracies, all the world are acquainted. — There is not a day 
passes, but we hear of new crimes of this description, committed under the 
flag & commission of Buenos Ayres by people of every other nation; for, 
to find among them a native or even a genuine citizen of Buenos Ayres, is 
almost without example — A very earnest Representation should be addressed 
immediately to the Government there, recurring to these events as afford- 
ing a demonstration of the great inconveniences resulting from those arti- 
cles of the Prize Code; and insisting upon the adoption of measures which 
shall hold the Captains and owners of privateers sailing by their authority, 
under a real responsibility to them. 

I shall have the honour of writing to you again upon this subject and in 
the mean time am with great respect, 

Sir [etc.]. 

P.S. Your letter of 30 April 1820 has been this day received. 



138 PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

91 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Henry Hill, Vice Consul of the 
United States at Valparaiso^ 

[extract] 

Washington, July 11, 1820. 

Sir: I have had the honour of receiving your letters of 30 June, 24 July 
and 31 Deer. 1818, and of 15 May, 30 June and 25 Septr. 1819, with their 
enclosures; and am happy to inform you that your conduct in relation to the 
ship Mercury is approved — The name of Captain Miles^ is at this moment 
very notorious here, for adventures subsequent to that of his attempting to 
enter Valparaiso, with forged papers of the U. S. It is by men like him and 
by transactions like his that an odium is cast upon the South American 
Cause, to which it ought not to be subjected. 



92 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to John M. Forbes {New York), 
Special Agent of the United States to Chile or Buenos Aires'^ 

Washington, July 11, 1820. 

Sir: You have seen in the public journals from various parts of the U. S. 
that a considerable number of Seamen have been taken up, and are under 
charges of Piracy and Murder committed on board a privateer called the 
General Rondeau commanded by David M. Miles (of Baltimore) and carry- 
ing the flag of Buenos Ayres — The Piracy and murder charged, is for a mutiny 
of this crew against their captain and officers, one of whom it appears they 
killed, and the rest they turned adrift in a boat, near the island of Grenada, 
which they reached in safety — From thence Captain Miles found his way to 
the island of Margarita, where he advertised his crew as pirates, who would 
no doubt capture indiscriminately the vessels of all nations. 

From all that has hitherto transpired, it appears that after cashiering him, 
they made no captures — On the contrary they released one prize taken by 
him; and after distributing among them the money on board the General 
Rondeau, they scuttled that vessel, near the coast of the U. S. and came 
ashore in a boat; dispersing themselves as well as they could to escape detec- 
tion; notwithstanding which a large number of them have been taken, and 
must be tried probably for their lives; and perhaps executed. 

^ MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 199. The despatches here acknowledged 
are not sufficiently pertinent to be printed in this collection. 

^ For brief account of the conduct of Miles and his crew see below, pt. i, doc. 92, Secretary 
of State to Forbes, July 11, 1820. 

2 MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 199. 



DOCUMENT 92: JULY II, 182O I39 

What sort of a person Captain Miles himself is may be seen from the fol- 
lowing facts — Some months since there was received at this department a 
letter from Henry Hill, acting as Vice Consul of the U. S. at Valparaiso, 
enclosing a forged Register, Sea Letter and Mediterravean Pass, of a pretended 
ship Mercury, Captn. David M. Miles, which entered at Valparaiso as a 
vessel of the U. S. on the 7 of May 1819, then coming from Buenos Ayres — 
The pretended ship Mercury was a Prize to the privateer Union, sold at 
auction at Buenos Ayres, where the forged papers were bought for 500 
dollars. Mr. Hill who had received notice of this transaction, demanded the 
papers of Captain Miles — detained them as forgeries, and transmitted them 
to this department — Some time after he received from a certain 7«aw Higin- 
botham, a letter, of which you have herewith a copy. This Higinbotham, 
I have reason to believe was part or whole owner of the privateer General 
Rondeau. 

There does not appear to have been a single Buenos Ayrean on board of 
this privateer — Captain Miles is stated to have had no intention of returning 
there — his prizes were ordered to the island of Margarita. — These incidents 
are all pressed upon your attention, to renew the remarks upon certain Arti- 
cles in the Privateering Ordinance of Buenos Ayres, and to urge you (or Mr. 
Prevost) to present them again in the most earnest manner to the existing 
Government there. I have written to the same effect to Mr. Prevost. 
While those articles remain in force the Government of Buenos Ayres hold no 
controul over their own privateers — They can neither punish the guilty, nor 
make satisfaction to the injured — They let loose upon the Ocean, under the 
countenance of their commissions and the protection of their flags, gangs of 
the most desperate Banditti; robbery and murder prowl upon the waters of 
every sea, and retributive Justice itself has no means of correcting or arrest- 
ing the mischief but by rousing Rapine and Murder to turn upon itself and 
punishing the crimes of the leaders through the rebellion of their associates. 
The frequency of these mutinies, and the horrible outrages by which they are 
made infamous, point in the most unequivocal manner to the sources of the 
mischief. There were no such examples in the privateering history of our 
Wars, because our Privateering Regulations had no such articles as those 
against which we remonstrate. Our privateersmen were under effective 
Bonds; we gave no indiscriminate licence to foreigners, to take our commis- 
sions and flag; and we required every capture to be brought to trial before our 
own tribunals — South American privateers and pirates will be synonymous 
terms till the same rules are adopted and practiced upon by their Govern- 
ments — To the honour of their cause and to the administration of general 
Justice this reform in their Prize Code is indispensable. 

I am [etc.]. 



140 PART I: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

93 

John Qiiincy Adams, Secretary of State, to John M. Forbes {New York), 
Special Agent of the United States to Chile or Buenos Aires ^ 

Washington, July 12, 1820. 

Sir: Since your instructions were prepared I have received a letter of 30 
April from Mr. Prevost, with a sequel of printed papers relating to the prose- 
cution for High Treason, of several members of the late Congress, on account 
of the secret Negotiations with FYance and Portugal, under the late Govern- 
ment of the Supreme Director Pueyrredon. 

It appears from Mr. Prevost's letter that towards the close of the month of 
March, a new effort was made to overthrow the Government of Sarratea, 
by a party at the head of which was the sometime Director Alvear — it was 
unsuccessful; Alvear and his party were proclaimed guilty of High Treason, 
and had withdrawn from the city. By the accounts in the public journals 
it appears that they were in arms, but whether with or against the Monto- 
neros we are left to conjecture. 

The letter speaks doubtfully of the continuance of the power of Sarratea, 
and represents him as desirous of withdrawing from the public service. It 
does not appear that Artigas had ratified the Treaty of February made with 
Ramirez; probably he makes a declaration of war against Portugal a Sine 
qua non, and that measure may be one for which the People of Buenos Ayres 
are not prepared. 

It is impossible to consider the present condition of Buenos Ayres other- 
wise than as temporary, and other changes in the Government will probably 
have happened before you arrive. At the time when Mr. Worthington drew 
up articles of a Treaty with the Commissioners of Pueyrredon, they declined 
inserting an article, to secure to the U. S. commercial advantages equal to 
those which might be enjoyed by any other nation. Mr. Prevost on his first 
arrival at Buenos Ayres, much surprized to find that such an objection had 
been made, entered into a correspondence upon the subject with Mr. Tagle, 
who was still the Secretary of State, and from whom he received an ambig- 
uous answer — intimating that whatever Mr. Pueyrredon had intended the 
Government of Buenos Ayres would secure the privileges of the most fa- 
voured nation to those who should first acknowledge their Independence — 
Mr. De Forrest had told us as much here before. 

Should any thing be said to you on the subject of the acknowledgement of 
the Government of Buenos Ayres, you will of course let it be understood 
that you have no authority to discuss the subject. The changes constantly 
happening there will occur as a probable reason for the delay of the Govern- 
ment of the U. S. The first claim of the acknowledgement from Buenos 
Ayres was to be recognized as the United Provinces of South America. The 

^ MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 202. 



DOCUMENT 94: SEPTEMBER 30, 182O 141 

next was under the stile of the United Provinces of La Plata, including the 
whole Vice Royalty of La Plata. This claim was made by Pueyrredon 
through Mr. Aguirre and Mr. De Forrest. All this has been swept away, 
and if [we] were now to recognize the single province of Buenos Ayres, the 
recognition upon reaching that city might probably find it no longer Inde- 
pendent. 

You will take occasion to remark whenever it may be proper that the 
Government of the U. S. have never intended to secure to themselves any 
advantage, commercial or otherwise, as an equivalent for acknowledging 
the Independence of any part of South America. They do not think it a 
proper subject for equivalent; and they have entire confidence that no 
exclusive privilege will be granted to any other nation to the prejudice of the 
U. S. They think themselves entitled to this, and consider it as essential 
to the Independence itself to be acknowledged — aware that no such ex- 
clusive privileges can be granted but by a sacrifice of the interests of the 
nation which grants them, they have never intended to ask them to the 
detriment of others, as they rely that they will not be conceded to others in 
detriment to them. 

I am [etc.]. 



94 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to John James Appleton, United 
States Charge d' Affaires at Rio de Janeiro ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, September jo, 1820. 

Mr. Correa de Serra the Minister Plenipotentiary from Portugal to the 
United States is about to leave this country for Brazils and has presented 
Mr. Amado, as the Charge d'Affaires during his absence. 

Copies are herewith enclosed of Notes which have been lately addressed 
to this Department by Mr. Correa, and of the answer which has been given 
them — You will see in the answer the views of the President, in relation to 
the subject to which they refer. 

The situation of the Brazilian Government must be materially affected, 
as well by that of Portugal, and the political transactions in its immediate 

' MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, IX, 48. John J. Appleton, of Massa- 
chusetts: Acted as charge d'affaires ad interim to the Netherlands from October 20, 181 7, 
to April 18, 1818, and from May 5, 1818, to January 4, 1819. Commissioned secretary of 
legation to Portugal, March 3, 18 19. Acted as charge d'affaires fl<iin<enm from June 13, 1820, 
to June — , 1 82 1. Commissioned secretary of legation to Spain, May 8, 1822. Acted as 
charge d'affaires ad interim from March 2 to December 4, 1823. Left November 23, 1824. 
Commissioned charge d'affaires to Sweden and Norway, May 2, 1826. Left August 20, 
1830. Also acted as charge d'affaires ad interim from September 20, 1833, to January 9, 
1834. See above note 1 to doc. 3. 



142 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

neighbourhood Europe, as by the course of affairs in South America, espe- 
cially in the Provinces of La Plata — You have doubtless seen the documents 
published at Buenos Ayres, disclosing a negotiation for uniting French and 
Portuguese interests, in a projected monarchy for that portion of South 
America — It is reported from France that Mr. Hyde de Neuville, who has 
lately returned home has received the appointment of Minister to Rio de 
Janeiro — Should he arrive there you will be watchful of his movements, and 
communicate such information as you can obtain concerning them. 
I am [etc.]. 



95 

Message of President James Monroe to the United States Congress ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, November 15, 1820. 

The contest between Spain and the colonies, according to the most 
authentic information, is maintained by the latter with improved success. 
The unfortunate divisions which were known to exist some time since at 
Buenos Ayres, it is understood, still prevail. In no part of South America 
has Spain made any impression on the colonies, while in many parts, and 
particularly in Venezuela and New Granada, the colonies have gained 
strength, and acquired reputation, both for the management of the war, in 
which they have been successful, and for the order of the internal adminis- 
tration. The late change in the Government of Spain, by the re-establish- 
ment of the constitution of 18 12, is an event which promises to be favorable 
to the revolution. Under the authority of the Cortes, the "Congress of 
Angostura was invited to open a negotiation for the settlement of differences 
between the parties; to which it was replied that they would willingly open 
the negotiation, provided the acknowledgment of their independence was 
made its basis, but not otherwise. Of further proceedings between them 
we are uninformed. No facts are known to this Government to warrant the 
belief that any of the Powers of Europe will take part in the contest; whence 
it may be inferred, considering all circumstances which must have weight in 
producing the result, that an adjustment will finally take place on the basis 
proposed by the colonies. To promote that result by friendly counsels with 
other Powers, including Spain herself, has been the uniform policy of this 
Government. 

^ American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 646. 



DOCUMENT 96: DECEMBER 3, 1 82 1 I43 

96 

Message of President James Monroe at the commencement of the first session 

of the Seventeenth Congress of the United States, communicated 

December 5, 182 1 ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, December 3, 1821. 

The Government of His Most Faithful Majesty, since the termination of 
the last session of Congress, has b^en removed from Rio de Janeiro to 
Lisbon, where a revolution, similar to that which had occurred in the 
neighboring kingdom of Spain, had, in like manner, been sanctioned by the 
accepted and pledged faith of the reigning monarch. The diplomatic inter- 
course between the United States and the Portuguese dominions, interrupted 
by this important event, has not yet been resumed ; but the change of internal 
administration having already materially affected the commercial inter- 
course of the United States with the Portuguese dominions, the renewal of 
the public missions between the two countries appears to be desirable at an 
early day. 

It is understood that the colonies in South America have had great success 
during the present year in the struggle for their independence. The new 
Government of Colombia has extended its territories, and considerably 
augmented its strength ; and at Buenos Ayres, where civil dissensions had for 
some time before prevailed, greater harmony and better order appear to have 
been established. Equal success has attended their efforts in the provinces 
on the Pacific. It has long been manifest that it would be impossible for 
Spain to reduce these colonies by force, and equally so that no conditions 
short of their independence would be satisfactory to them. It may, 
therefore, be presumed, and it is earnestly hoped, that the Government of 
Spain, guided by enlightened and liberal counsels, will find it to comport with 
its interests, and due to its magnanimity, to terminate this exhausting 
controversy on that basis. To promote this result, by friendly counsel with 
the Government of Spain, will be the object of the Government of the 
United States. 

1 American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 739. 



144 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

97 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Manual Torres {Philadelphia), 
Colombian Agent in the United States ^ 

Washington, January i8, 1822. 

Sir: In reference to your letters ^ of the 30th, of November last, and the 
2d. of this month, I have the honor of informing you that the subject to 
which they relate, is under the consideration of the President of the United 
States, whose definitive decision concerning it, shall, when taken, be forth- 
with communicated to you. In the mean time, should you receive advices 
of the surrender of Porto Cavello, and the Isthmus of Panama, I have to 
request you would favour me with the information of those events as early as 
may suit your convenience. 

I pray you [etc.]. 



John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Charles S. Todd {Frankfort, Ken- 
tucky), Confidential Agent of the United States to Colombia ^ 

Washington, January 28, 1822. 

Sir: I have the honour of informing you that it is the President's desire 
that you should proceed as soon as will suit your convenience to South 
America, to resume the duties of your Station there. 

By a letter received from Mr. Torres, a copy of which is herewith enclosed, 
you will see that the Seat of Government of the Republic of Colombia has 
been fixed at the city of Bogota, to which you will accordingly repair as 
speedily as possible. 

The claims of certain citizens of the U. S. upon the Government of 
Venezuela, which were heretofore recommended to your attention, you will 
continue to urge, until that Justice which has been acknowledged to be due, 
shall have been rendered. I would particularly remind you of that of John 
A. Leamy of Philadelphia, the papers relative to which are in your possession. 

It is probable that the formal recognition of the Republic of Colombia, will 
ensue at no distant day. In the mean time I have to request the trans- 
mission as frequently as you may find opportunities of all information of an 
interesting nature which you may be able to obtain. 

You are authorized to draw upon this Department for the amount of half 
a year's salary in advance, to commence on the day of your leaving home to 
proceed to your destination. The necessary traveling expenses to Bogota, 
will be allowed you, 

I am [etc.]. 

1 MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 96. Manuel Torres, charge d'affaires of Colombia 
to the United States: Presented credentials June i8, 1822, and served until June 10, 1823, 
at or about which time he died. 

^ See below, pt. vi., docs. 609 and 61 1. 

^ MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 242. 



DOCUMENT 100 : MARCH 7, l822 I45 

99 

Daniel Brent, Chief Clerk of the Department of State, to John M. Forbes, 
Agent of the United States at Buenos Aires ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, February ig, 1822. 

. . . Upon a call from the House of Representatives respecting the state 
of things in the South American Governments, with a view to the propriety 
and expediency of a formal acknowledgment of them on our part, we are 
preparing a Report to the President, which will include extracts, not very 
voluminous, from some of your recent dispatches. We would send more but 
for the difficulty of making selections that might prove agreeable or safe to 
yourself. I know not how the cat jumps in relation to this great question; 
but am apt to believe that a discretionary power will be given to the Presi- 
dent, to acknowledge, or not, according to his view of circumstances, the 
sovereignty and Independence of any or all of these Governments. That of 
Buenos Ayres has given a good moral Lesson to older and long established 
States, in the formal suppression of Privateering under its flag. 



100 
John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to President James Monroe^ 

Washington, March 7, 1822. 

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the resolution of the 
House of Representatives of the 30th of January last, requesting the Presi- 
dent of the United States to lay before that House such communications as 
might be in the possession of the Executive from the agents of the United 
States with the Governments south of the United States which have 
declared their independence, and the communications from the agents of such 
Governments in the United States with the Secretary of State as tend to 
show the political condition of their Governments, and the state of the war 
between them and Spain, as it might be consistent with the public interest to 
communicate, has the honor of submitting to the President the papers 
required by that resolution. 

The communications from the agents of the United States are only those 
most recently received, and exhibiting their views of the actual condition of 
the several South American revolutionary Governments. No communica- 
tion has yet been received from Mr. Prevost since his arrival at Lima. 

' MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 244. 
* American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 819. 



146 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

There has been hitherto no agent of the United States in Mexico; but 
among the papers herewith submitted is a letter recently received from a 
citizen of the United States, who has been some years residing there, contain- 
ing the best information in possession of the Government concerning the late 
revolution in that country, and specially of the character embraced by the 
resolution of the House. 



101 

President James Monroe to the United States House of Representatives, com- 
municated March 8 and April 26, 1822 ^ 

Washington, March 8, 1822. 

To the House of Representatives of the United States : 

In transmitting to the House of Representatives the documents called for 
by the resolution of that House of the 30th January, I consider it my duty to 
invite the attention of Congress to a very important subject, and to com- 
municate the sentiments of the Executive on it, that, should Congress enter- 
tain similar sentiments, there may be such co-operation between the two 
departments of the Government as their respective rights and duties may 
require. 

The revolutionary movement in the Spanish provinces in this hemisphere 
attracted the attention and excited the sympathy of our fellow-citizens from 
its commencement. This feeling was natural and honorable to them, from 
causes which need not be communicated to you. It has been gratifying to 
all to see the general acquiescence which has been manifested in the policy 
which the constituted authorities have deemed it proper to pursue in regard 
to this contest. As soon as the movement assumed such a steady and con- 
sistent form as to make the success of the provinces probable, the rights to 
which they were entitled by the law of nations, as equal parties to a civil war, 
were extended to them. Each party was permitted to enter our ports with 
its public and private ships, and to take from them every article which was 
the subject of commerce with other nations. Our citizens, also, have carried 
on commerce with both parties, and the Government has protected it with 
each in articles not contraband of war. Through the whole of this contest 
the United States have remained neutral, and have fulfilled with the utmost 
impartiality all the obligations incident to that character. 

This contest has now reached such a stage, and been attended with such 

decisive success on the part of the provinces, that it merits the most profound 

consideration whether their right to the rank of independent nations, with 

all the advantages incident to it in their intercourse with the United States, 

^ American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V, 818. 



DOCUMENT lOl: MARCH 8, l822 I47 

is not complete. Buenos Ayres assumed that rank by a formal declaration 
in 1816, and has enjoyed it since 1810, free from invasion by the parent 
country. The provinces composing the republic of Colombia, after having 
separately declared their independence, were united by a fundamental law 
of the 17th of December, 1819. A strong Spanish force occupied at that 
time certain parts of the territory within their limits, and waged a destructive 
war; that force has since been repeatedly defeated, and the whole of it either 
made prisoners or destroyed, or expelled from the country, with the excep- 
tion of an inconsiderable portion only, which is blockaded in two fortresses. 
The provinces on the Pacific have likewise been very successful. Chili 
declared independence in 1818, and has since enjoyed it undisturbed; and of 
late, by the assistance of Chili and Buenos Ayres, the revolution has extended 
to Peru. Of the movement in Mexico our information is less authentic, but 
it is, nevertheless, distinctly understood that the new Government has de- 
clared its independence, and that there is now no opposition to it there, nor 
a force to make any. For the last three years the Government of Spain has 
not sent a single corps of troops to any part of that country; nor is there 
any reason to believe it will send any in future. Thus, it is manifest that 
all those provinces are not only in the full enjoyment of their independence, 
but, considering the state of the war and other circumstances, that there 
is not the most remote prospect of their being deprived of it. 

When the result of such a contest is manifestly settled, the new Govern- 
ments have a claim to recognition by other Powers, which ought not to be 
resisted. Civil wars too often excite feelings which the parties cannot con- 
trol. The opinion entertained by other Powers as to the result may assuage 
those feelings, and promote an accommodation between them useful and 
honorable to both. The delay which has been observed in making a decision 
on this important subject will, it is presumed, have afforded an unequivocal 
proof to Spain, as it must have done to other Powers, of the high respect 
entertained by the United States for her rights, and of their determination 
not to interfere with them. The provinces belonging to this hemisphere are 
our neighbors, and have, successively, as each portion of the country acquired 
its independence, pressed their recognition by an appeal to facts not to be 
contested, and which they thought gave them a just title to it. To motives 
of interest this Government has invariably disclaimed all pretension, being 
resolved to take no part in the controversy, or other measure in regard to it, 
which should not merit the sanction of the civilized world. To other claims 
a just sensibility has been always felt, and frankly acknowledged; but they, 
in themselves, could never become an adequate cause of action. It was 
incumbent on this Government to look to every important fact and circum- 
stance on which a sound opinion could be formed, which has been done. 
When we regard, then, the great length of time which this war has been prose- 
cuted, the complete success which has attended it in favor of the provinces. 



148 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

the present condition of the parties, and the utter inability of Spain to pro- 
duce any change in it, we are compelled to conclude that its fate is settled, 
and that the provinces which have declared their independence, and are in 
the enjoyment of it, ought to be recognised. 

Of the views of the Spanish Government on this subject, no particular 
information has been recently received. It may be presumed that the suc- 
cessful progress of the revolution through such a long series of years, gaining 
strength, and extending annually in every direction, and embracing, by the 
late important events, with little exception, all the dominions of Spain south 
of the United States on this continent, placing thereby the complete sov- 
ereignty over the whole in the hands of the people, will reconcile the parent 
country to an accommodation with them on the basis of their unqualified in- 
dependence. Nor has any authentic information been recently received of 
the disposition of other Powers respecting it. A sincere desire has been 
cherished to act in concert with them in the proposed recognition, of which 
several were some time past duly apprized; but it was understood that they 
were not prepared for it. The immense space between those Powers, even 
those which border on the Atlantic and these provinces, makes the movement 
an affair of less interest and excitement to them than to us. It is probable, 
therefore, that they have been less attentive to its progress than we have 
been. It may be presumed, however, that the late events will dispel all 
doubt of the result. 

In proposing this measure, it is not contemplated to change thereby, in the 
slightest manner, our friendly relations with either of the parties, but to 
observe, in all respects, as heretofore, should the war be continued, the most 
perfect neutrality between them. Of this friendly disposition an assurance 
will be given to the Government of Spain, to whom, it is presumed, it will be, 
as it ought to be, satisfactory. The measure is proposed under a thorough 
conviction that it is in strict accord with the law of nations; that it is just and 
right as to the parties ; and that the United States owe it to their station and 
character in the world, as well as to their essential interests, to adopt it. 
Should Congress concur in the view herein presented, they will doubtless see 
the propriety of making the necessary appropriations for carrying it into 
effect. 



102 

Report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the United States House of 
Representatives, March ig, 1822 ^ 

The Committee of Foreign Affairs, to whom were referred the message of 
the President concerning the recognition of the late Spanish provinces in 
^ American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 848. 



DOCUMENT 102: MARCH I9, l822 I49 

America, and the documents therewith communicated, having examined the 
same with the most profound attention, unanimously report: 

That the provinces of Buenos Ayres, after having, from the year 1810, 
proceeded in their revolutionary movements without any obstacle from the 
Government of Spain, formally declared their independence of that Govern- 
ment in 1816. After various intestine commotions and external collisions, 
those provinces now enjoy domestic tranquillity, and a good understanding 
with all their neighbors, and actually exercise, without opposition from 
within, or the fear of annoyance from without, all the attributes of sover- 
eignty. 

The provinces of Venezuela and New Granada, after having separately 
declared their independence, sustained, for a period of more than ten years, 
a desolating war against the armies of Spain, and having severally attained, 
by their triumph over those armies, the object for which they contended, 
united themselves, on the 19th of December, 1819, in one nation, under the 
title of "the Republic of Colombia." 

The republic of Colombia has now a well-organized Government, insti- 
tuted by the free will of its citizens, and exercise all the functions of sover- 
eignty, fearless alike of internal and foreign enemies. The small remnant of 
the numerous armies commissioned to preserve the supremacy of the parent 
state is now blockaded in two fortresses, where it is innoxious, and where, 
deprived as it is of all hope of succor, it must soon surrender at discretion. 
When this event shall have occured, there will not remain a vestige of foreign 
power in all that immense republic, containing between three and four mil- 
lions of inhabitants. 

The province of Chili, since it declared its independence, in the year 1818, 
has been in the constant and unmolested enjoyment of the sovereignty which 
it then assumed. 

The province of Peru, situated, like Chili, beyond the Andes, and border- 
ing on the Pacific ocean, was for a long time deterred from making any 
effectual effort for independence, by the presence of an imposing military 
force, which Spain had kept up in that country. It was not, therefore, 
until the 12th of June of the last year that its capital, the city of Lima, 
capitulated to an army, chiefly composed of troops from Buenos Ayres and 
Chili, under the command of General San Martin. The greater part of the 
royal troops which escaped on that occasion retreated to the mountains, 
but soon left them to return to the coast, there to join the royal garrison in 
the fortress of Callao. The surrender of that fortress, soon after, to the 
Americans, may be regarded as the termination of the war in that quarter. 

When the people of Peru found themselves, by this event, free to express 
their will, they most unequivocally expressed it in favor of independence, and 
with a unanimity and enthusiasm which have nowhere been excelled. 

The revolution in Mexico has been somewhat different in its character and 



150 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

progress from the revolutions in the other Spanish American provinces, and 
its result, in respect to the organization of its internal government, has also 
not been precisely the same. Independence, however, has been as emphati- 
cally declared and as practically established, since the 24th of August last, 
by the " Mexican empire," as ever it has been by the republics of the south; 
and her geographical situation, her population, and her resources, eminently 
qualify her to maintain the independence which she has thus declared, and 
now actually enjoys. 

Such are the facts which have occupied the attention of your committee, 
and which, in their opinion, irresistibly prove that the nations of Mexico, 
Colombia, Buenos Ayres, Peru, and Chili, in Spanish America, are in fact 
independent. 

It now remains for your committee to examine the right and the expedi- 
ency, on the part of the United States, of recognising the independence which 
those nations have thus effectively achieved. 

In this examination, it cannot be necessary to inquire into the right of the 
people of Spanish America "to dissolve the political bands which have con- 
nected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth that 
separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God 
entitle them." The right to change the political institutions of the state has, 
indeed, been exercised equally by Spain and by her colonies; and for us to 
deny to the people of Spanish America the right to independence on the 
principles which alone sanction it here, would be virtually to renounce our 
own. 

The political right of this nation to acknowledge their independence, with- 
out offending others, does not depend on its justice, but on its actual estab- 
lishment. To justify such a recognition by us, it is necessary only to show, 
as is already sufficiently shown, that the people of Spanish America are, 
within their respective limits, exclusively sovereign, and thus, in fact, inde- 
pendent. With them, as with every other Government possessing and 
exercising the power of making war, the United States, in common with all 
nations, have the right of concerting the terms of mutual peace and inter- 
course. 

Who is the rightful sovereign of a country, is not an inquiry permitted to 
foreign nations, to whom it is competent only to treat with "the powers 
that be." 

There is no difference of opinion on this point among the writers on public 
law; and no diversity, with respect to it, in the practice of civilized nations. 
It is not necessary here to cite authority for a doctrine familiar to all who 
have paid the slightest attention to the subject, nor to go back for its practi- 
cal illustration to the civil wars between the houses of York and Lancaster. 
Long since the chiefs of those conflicting houses alternately triumphed and 
ruled, and were alternately obeyed at home and recognised abroad, according 



DOCUMENT 102: MARCH I9, l822 I5I 

as they successively exercised the power, without demonstrating the right; 
monarchies have become commonwealths or republics, and powerful usurpers 
have been recognised by foreign nations, in preference to legitimate and 
powerless pretenders. Modern history is replete with instances in point. 
Have we not, indeed, within the brief period of our own remembrance, 
beheld Governments vary their forms and change their rulers according to 
the prevailing power or passion of the moment, and doing so in virtue of the 
principle now in question, without materially and lastingly affecting their 
relations with other Governments? Have we not seen the emperors and 
kings of yesterday receive, on the thrones of exiled sovereigns who claimed 
the right to reign there, the friendly embassies of other Powers with whom 
those exiled sovereigns had sought an asylum? and have we not seen to-day 
those emperors and kings, thus courted and recognised yesterday, reft of 
their sceptres, and, from a mere change of circumstances, not of right, 
treated as usurpers by their successors, who, in their turn, have been 
acknowledged and caressed by the same foreign Powers? 

The peace of the world and the independence of every member of the great 
political family require that each should be the exclusive judge of its own 
internal proceedings, and that the fact alone should be regarded by foreign 
nations. "Even when civil war breaks the bonds of society and of govern- 
ment, or at least suspends their force and effect, it gives birth in the nation 
to two independent parties, who regard each other as enemies, and ac- 
knowledge no common judge." It is of necessity, therefore, that these two 
parties should be considered by foreign states as two distinct and independent 
nations. To consider or treat them otherwise, would be to interfere in their 
domestic concerns, to deny them the right to manage their own affairs in 
their own way, and to violate the essential attributes of their respective 
sovereignty. For a nation to be entitled, in respect to foreign states, to the 
enjoyment of these attributes, "and to figure directly in the great political 
society, it is sufficient that it is really sovereign and independent; that is, 
that it governs itself by its own authority and laws." The people of 
Spanish America do notoriously so govern themselves, and the right of the 
United States to recognise the Governments which they have instituted is 
incontestable. A doubt of the expediency of such a recognition can be 
suggested only by the apprehension that it may injuriously affect our peace- 
ful and friendly relations with the nations of the other hemisphere. 
Can such an apprehension be well founded? 

Have not all those nations practically sanctioned, within the last thirty 
years, the very principle on which we now propose to act; or have they ever 
complained of one another, or of us, for acting on that principle? 

No nation of Europe, excepting Spain herself, has hitherto opposed force 
to the independence of Spanish America. Some of those nations have not 
only constantly maintained commercial and friendly intercourse with them 



152 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

in every stage of the revolution, but indirectly and efficiently, though not 
avowedly, aided them in the prosecution of their great object. To these the 
acknowledgment by the United States of the attainment of that object 
must be satisfactory. 

To the other nations of Europe, who have regarded the events occurring 
in Spanish America not only without interference, but with apparent 
indifference, such an acknowledgment ought not to be offensive. 

The nations who have thus respectively favored or never opposed the 
Spanish American people during their active struggle for independence 
cannot, it is believed, regard with dissatisfaction the formal recognition of 
that independence by a nation which, while that struggle lasted, has reli- 
giously observed towards both the conflicting parties all the duties of 
neutrality. Your committee are, therefore, of opinion that we have a right 
on this occasion confidently to expect, from what these nations have done 
or forborne to do, during the various fortunes of the civil war which has 
terminated, that they will frankly approve the course of policy which the 
United States may now think proper to adopt in relation to the successful 
party in that war. It surely cannot be reasonably apprehended that 
nations, who have thus been the tranquil spectators, the apparent well- 
wishers, if not the efficient supporters of this party, and who have not made 
the faintest attempt to arrest its progress, or to prevent its success, should 
be displeased with a third Power for merely recognising the Governments 
which, owing to that success, have thus been virtually permitted, or im- 
pliedly approved, in acquiring the undisputed and exclusive control of the 
countries in which they are established. It is, therefore, on the consistency 
as well as on the justice of these nations of Europe that we may confidently 
reply that the simple recognition, on the part of the United States, of the 
necessary effect of what has already been done will not be considered as a 
just cause of complaint against them, while the interested and immediate 
agents who have been directly and actively engaged in producing that effect 
have neither been opposed nor censured. 

Your committee, therefore, instead of seriously apprehending that the 
recognition by the United States of the independence of Spanish America 
will be unacceptable to these nations, are not without hope that they may 
practically approve it, by severally adopting a similar measure. It is not, 
indeed, unreasonable to suppose that those Governments have, like this, 
waited only for the evidence of facts which might not only suffice to justify 
them, under the laws and usages of nations, but to satisfy Spain herself that 
nothing has been prematurely done, or which could justly offend her feelings, 
or be considered as inconsistent with her rights. As their motives for not 
having hitherto recognised the independence of Spanish America may thus 
be supposed to have been analogous to our own, it is permitted to presume 
that the facts and reasons which have prevailed on us no longer to hesitate 



DOCUMENT 102: MARCH IQ, l822 153 

will, confirmed as they are by our example, have a like influence on 
them. 

No nation can entertain a more sincere deference for the feelings of Spain, 
or take a more lively interest in her welfare, than the United States. It is 
to this deference, too evident to be doubted or misunderstood, that ought to 
be ascribed the hesitation of this Government, until now, to yield to the 
claims of Spanish America, although these claims were in perfect accordance 
with our own principles, feelings, and interests. Having thus forborne to 
act, even at the hazard of having those principles and feelings misunder- 
stood on this side of the Atlantic, we have, as your committee believe, given 
at once satisfactory proof of our disinterestedness and moderation, and of our 
scrupulous respect to the principle which leaves the political institutions of 
every foreign state to be directed by its own view of its own rights and 
interests. 

Your committee have been particularly anxious to shOw, in a manner 
satisfactory to Spain herself, that the measure which this Government now 
proposes to adopt has been considered with the most respectful attention, 
both in relation to her rights and to her feelings. 

It is not on the laws and usages of nations, or on the practice of Spain 
herself, on like occasions, that your committee have relied for our justifica- 
tion towards her. 

The fact that for the last three years she has not sent a single company of 
troops against her transatlantic colonies has not been used as evidence of 
their actual independence, or of her want of power to oppose it. This fact, 
explained as it is by the public acts of Spain herself, is regarded by your 
committee as evidence only of her policy. 

The last troops collected at Cadiz in 1819, which were destined to suppress 
the revolutionary movements in Spanish America, not only rejected that 
service, but joined in the revolution which has since proved successful in 
Spain herself. The declaration of the leaders in that revolution was, that 
"Spanish America had a right to be free, and that Spain should be free." 
Although the constitution which was re-established by that revolution 
guarantied the integrity of the Spanish dominions, yet the principles on 
which that constitution was founded seem to discountenance the employ- 
ment of force for the accomplishment of that object, in contempt of the 
equal rights and declared will of the American portion of the Spanish people. 
The conduct of the Government organized under that constitution has uni- 
formly been, in this respect, in conformity to those principles. Since its 
existence, there has not been even a proposal by that Government to employ 
force for the subjugation of the American provinces, but merely recommenda- 
tions of conciliatory measures for their pacification. 

The answer of the Cortes, on the loth of July, 1820, to the address of the 
King, furnishes conclusive proof of this policy\ 



154 PART I: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

"The intimate union," says this answer, "of the Cortes with your Maj- 
esty, the re-estabHshment of the constitution, the faithful performance of 
promises, depriving malevolence of all pretext, will facilitate the pacification 
of the ultramarine provinces, which are in a state of agitation and dissension. 
The Cortes, on its part, will omit no opportunity to propose and adopt 
measures necessary for the observance of the constitution and restoration of 
tranquillity in those countries, to the ejid that the Spains of both worlds may thus 
form a single and happy family.'' 

Although the ultramarine provinces are not here encouraged to expect 
absolute independence, yet they are no longer treated as vassal colonies, or 
threatened with subjugation, but are actually recognised as brothers in the 
great constitutional and free family of Spain. 

A report made to the Cortes on the 24th of June, 1821, by a committee 
appointed by that body, not only manifestly corroborates the policy above 
stated, but sufficiently intimates that the recognition of the independence of 
Spanish America by Spain herself had nearly been the measure recommended 
by that committee. 

That report avers that ''tranquillity is not sufficient, even if it should 
extend throughout America with a prospect of permanency: no! it falls short 
of the wishes of the friends of humanity.'' 

In speaking of the measure demanded by the crisis, it says that this 
measure was not only warmly approved by the committee, but at first entirely 
assented to by the ministers, with whom it had been discussed, and failed only 
to be proposed to the Cortes "by these ministers havifig, on account of peculiar 
occurrences, suspended their judgment." It speaks of this measure as in- 
dicative of a new and glorious resolution ; that it was demanded by America 
and the true interests of the Peninsula; that from it Spain might reap advan- 
tages which otherwise she could never expect; and that the ties of kindred 
and the uniformity of religion, with commercial relations, and those emanat- 
ing horn free institutions, would be the surest pledge of mutual harmony and 
close union. 

Your committee do not feel themselves authorized to say positively what 
that measure was, but they do not hesitate to declare their entire conviction 
that no measure short of a full recognition of unconditional independence 
could have deserved the character, nor been capable of producing the effects 
ascribed to it. 

It is, therefore, sufficiently manifest that Spain, far from wishing to call 
into action her means of prosecuting hostilities against the people of Spanish 
America, has renounced even the feelings of an enemy towards them, and, but 
for "peculiar occurrences," had been prepared, nearly a year ago, to consent 
to their independence. 

She has not only practically discontinued, and even emphatically depre- 
cated, the employment of force to restore tranquillity to Spanish America, 



DOCUMENT 102: MARCH I9, l822 I55 

but she has declared that even universal and permanent tranquillity there 
"falls short of the wishes of the friends of humanity." 

While she appeals to "the ties of kindred," she undoubtedly feels them; 
and if she has not abandoned her desire, so often avowed, of mere constitu- 
tional union and equal commercial intercourse with her former colonies, as 
between provinces of the same empire — a union and an intercourse which inter- 
vening Andes and oceans seem to render highly inconvenient, if not utterly 
impracticable — she evidently refers the accomplishment of this desire to 
the unawed deliberations and to the congenial and kindred feelings of the 
people of those colonies, and thus substantially acknowledges their inde- 
pendence. 

Whatever may be the policy of Spain, however, in respect to her former 
American colonies, our recognition of their independence can neither affect 
her rights, nor impair her means, in the accomplishment of that policy. We 
cannot, for this, be justly accused of aiding in the attainment of an inde- 
pendence which has already been established without our assistance. Be- 
sides, our recognition must necessarily be co-existent only with the fact on 
which it is founded, and cannot survive it. While the nations of Spanish 
America are actually independent, it is simply to speak the truth to acknowl- 
edge them to be so. 

Should Spain, contrary to her avowed principles and acknowledged inter- 
ests, renew the war for the conquest of South America, we shall indeed 
regret it, but we shall observe, as we have done, between the independent 
parties, an honest and impartial neutrality; but, on the other hand, should 
Spain, faithful to her own glory and prosperity, consent that her offspring 
in the new world should enjoy the right of self-government equally with their 
brethren in the old, we shall sincerely rejoice; and we shall cherish with 
equal satisfaction, and cultivate with equal assiduity, the friendship of 
regenerated Spain and of emancipated America. 

Your committee, in justice to their own feelings and to the feelings of their 
fellow-citizens, have made this declaration without disguise; and they trust 
that the uniform character and conduct of this people will save it from all 
liability to misinterpretation. 

Happy in our own institutions, we claim no privilege; we indulge no ambi- 
tion to extend them to other nations; we admit the equal rights of all nations 
to form their own governments and to administer their own internal affairs 
as they may judge proper; and, however they may, in these respects, differ 
from us, we do not on that account regard with the less satisfaction their 
tranquillity and happiness. 

Your committee having thus considered the subject referred to them in 
all its aspects, are unanimously of opinion that is is just and expedient to 
acknowledge the independence of the several nations of Spanish America, 
without any reference to the diversity in the forms of their governments; 



156 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

and, in accordance with this opinion, they respectfully submit the following 
resolutions: 

Resolved, That the House of Representatives concur in the opinion ex- 
pressed by the President in his message of the 8th of March, 1822, that the 
American provinces of Spain which have declared their independence, and 
are in the enjoyment of it, ought to be recognised by the United States as 
independent nations. 

Resolved, That the Committee of Ways and Means be instructed to report 
a bill appropriating a sum not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars, to 
enable the President of the United States to give due effect to such recogni- 
tion. 



103 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Joaquin de Anduaga, Spanish Min- 
ister to the United States ^ 

Washington, April 6, 1822. 

Sir : Your Letter of the 9th of March ^ was, immediately after I had the 
honour of receiving it, laid before the President of the United States, by 
whom it has been deliberately considered, and by whose direction I am, in 
replying to it, to assure you of the earnestness and sincerity with which this 
Government desires to entertain and to cultivate the most friendly relations 
with that of Spain. 

This disposition has been manifested, not only by the uniform course of the 
United States, in their direct political and commercial intercourse with 
Spain, but by the friendly interest which they have felt in the welfare of the 
Spanish Nation, and by the cordial sympathy with which they have wit- 
nessed their spirit and energy, exerted in maintaining their Independence of 
all foreign controul, and their right of self-government. 

In every question relating to the Independence of a Nation, two principles 
are involved; one of right, and the other of Jact; the former exclusively 
depending upon the determination of the Nation itself, and the latter 
resulting from the successful execution of that determination — This right has 
been recently exercised as well by the Spanish Nation in Europe, as by 
several of those Countries in the American Hemisphere, which had for two 
or three Centuries been connected as Colonies with Spain — In the conflicts 
which have attended these Revolutions, the United States, have carefully 
abstained from taking any part, respecting the right of the nations concerned 
in them to maintain or now organize their own political Constitutions, and 

1 MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 53. Joaquin de Anduaga, envoy extraordinary 
and minister plenipotentiary of Spain in the United States: Presented credentials, October 
31, 1821. Gave notice of intended departure, March 15, 1823. 

* See below, pt. xin, doc. 1105. 



DOCUMENT 103: APRIL 6, 1 822 I57 

observing wherever it was a contest by arms, the most impartial neutrality — • 
But the civil war, in which Spain was for some years involved with the in- 
habitants of her Colonies in America, has in substance, ceased to exist — • 
Treaties equivalent to an acknowledgement of Independence, have been 
concluded by the Commanders and Viceroys of Spain herself, with the 
Republic of Colombia, with Mexico, and with Peru; while in the Provinces 
of La Plata, and in Chili, no Spanish force has for several years existed, to 
dispute the independence, which the Inhabitants of those Countries had 
declared. 

Under these circumstances, the Government of the United States, far 
from consulting the dictates of a policy, questionable in its morality yielded 
to an obligation of duty of the highest order, by recognizing as Independent 
States, Nations which, after deliberately asserting their right to that 
character, have maintained and established it against all the resistance which 
had been or could be brought to oppose it. This recognition is neither 
intended to invalidate any right of Spain, nor to affect the employment of 
any means, which she may yet be disposed or enabled to use, with the view of 
re-uniting those Provinces to the rest of her dominions — It is the mere 
acknowledgement of existing facts, with the view to the regular establish- 
ment, with the Nations newly formed, of those relations, political and com- 
mercial, which it is the moral obligation of civilized and Christian Nations to 
entertain reciprocally with one another. 

It will not be necessary to discuss with you a detail of facts, upon which 
your information appears to be materially different, from that which has 
been communicated to this Government, and is of public notoriety; nor the 
propriety of the denominations which you have attributed to the Inhabitants 
of the South American Provinces — It is not doubted that other and more 
correct views of the whole subject will very shortly be taken by your 
Government, and that it will, as well as the other European Governments, 
shew that deference to the example of the United States, which you urge it 
as the duty or the policy of the United States, to shew to theirs — The effect 
of the example of one Independent Nation upon the counsels and measures 
of another, can be just, only so far as it is voluntary: and as the United 
States desire that their example should be followed, so it is their intention to 
follow that of others, upon no other principle — ^They confidently reply that 
the time is at hand, when all the Governments of Europe friendly to Spain, 
and Spain herself, will not only concur in the acknowledgement of the 
Independence of the American Nations, but in the sentiment, that nothing 
will tend more effectually to the welfare and happiness of Spain, than the 
universal concurrence in that recognition. 

I pray you, Sir, to accept [etc.] 



158 PART I: COiMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

104 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to President James Monroe ^ 

Washington, April 25, 1822. 

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred a resolution of the 
Senate of this day, requesting the President to communicate to the Senate 
any information he may have, proper to be disclosed, from our minister at 
Madrid, or from the Spanish minister resident in this country, concerning the 
views of Spain relative to the recognition of the independence of the South 
American colonies, and of the dictamen of the Spanish Cortes, has the honor 
to submit to the President copies of the papers particularly referred to. 



105 

President James Monroe to the United States Senate ^ 

Washington, April 26, 1822. 

To the Senate of the United States : 

I transmit to the Senate, agreeably to their resolution of yesterday, a 
report from the Secretary of State,- with copies of the papers requested by 
that resolution, in relation to the recognition of the South American prov- 
inces. 



106 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Richard Rush, United States 

Minister to Great Britain ' 

[extract] 

Washington, May 13, 1822. 

Among the Congressional Documents which you will receive, there are 
two relating to subjects of interest to the general affairs of Europe, and which 
it is presumed will meet attention, from their bearing on the policy of the 
principal European Powers. I refer to the message ^ from the President 
to Congress, recognizing the Independence of the South American States, 
with the proceedings of Congress consequent thereon, and the Correspond- 

1 American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, 845. 

2 See above, doc. 104. 

3 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, IX, 119. 
* See above, doc. loi, under date March 8, 1822. 



DOCUMENT 107: MAY 23, l822 I59 

ence ^ between this Department and the Spanish Minister Don Joaquin 
d'Anduaga relating to it; . . . 

The recognition Message, and the proceedings almost unanimous of both 
Houses of Congress on the Bill making appropriations for five Diplomatic 
Missions to the South, are strong and clear indications of the disposition of 
the Public mind in this Country. Of the view, which will be taken of this 
measure as well by Spain, as by the preponderating Powers of the European 
Alliance, we are yet to be informed. We trust it will not be considered even 
by the British Cabinet a Rash or Hasty measure at this time. Should the 
subject be mentioned to you by the Marquess of Londonderry, you will 
remark that it was not understood or intended as a change of policy on the 
part of the United States, nor adopted with any design of turning it to the 
account of our own Interests. Possibly no one of the proposed Diplomatic 
Missions may be actually sent before the next Session of Congress. The 
neutrality of the United States towards the parties, so far as neutrality can 
be said to exist where there is scarcely any War, will be continued. The 
relations of the United States with both parties will remain the same, with 
the only exception of an interchange of official, instead of informal political 
and commercial Agents. 

Upon both the subjects above mentioned, it will be acceptable to learn in 
what light they are considered by the British Government. 



107 

Jolui Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to David C. de Forest of New Haven, 

Connecticut ^ 

Washington, May 23, 1822. 

Sir: Having submitted to the consideration of the President of the United 
States, your letter of ulto, I am directed by him to inform you 

That, in the recognition of the independence of the several Governments 
of South America, it is not his intention, by discriminating between them, 
with regard to time, to admit any claim to prior recognition, in favor of any 
one over the other. 

That the letter heretofore produced by you as a voucher of your appoint- 
ment as Consul General from the United Provinces of La Plata, having been 
issued by a government which no longer exists, cannot be received as con- 
ferring upon you that office from a federation, neither in its component parts, 
nor in its existing political institutions, nor in its ruling administration, 
the same. 

' See above, doc. 103, Adams to Anduaga, April 6, 1822. 
* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 104. 



l60 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

That the above mentioned letter appears upon its face, to have been 
issued in conformity to certain articles of agreement in the form of a com- 
mercial treaty which had never been authorized by the Government of the 
United States, and have always been held by them, null and void. 

That even if, under all these changes, the present government of Buenos 
Ayres, could be considered as the same, with that, under the authority of 
which the letter produced by you, was issued, the confirmation of your com- 
mission by the present ruling Administration, would be indispensable to your 
obtaining an Exequatur under it; authentic information having been 
received at this Department of the intention of the present authorities of 
Buenos Ayres, to revoke it. 

That, with regard to your claim to be received in the character of Charge 
d'Affaires from that country the President does not think proper to receive, 
as invested with the privileges peculiar to the diplomatic Agents of foreign 
Powers, any person being a native citizen of the United States, and domi- 
ciliated in them. 

I am [etc.]. 



108 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Manuel Torres (Philadelphia), 
Colombian Agent in the United States ^ 

Washington, May 23, 1822. 

Sir: I have the honor of informing you, by direction of the President of 
the United States, that he will receive you in the character of Charge 
d'Affaires from the Republic of Colombia, whenever it may suit your con- 
venience, and be compatible with the state of your health to repair to this 
place for that purpose. 

I am [etc.]. 



109 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Colonel Charles S. Todd (Norfolk), 
Confidential Agent of the United States to Colombia^ 

[extract] 

Washington, July 2, 1822. 

Sir: It is the President's desire that you should proceed immediately to 
the Seat of Government of the Republic of Colombia. Under the authority 
heretofore given you, you will communicate with the Minister of foreign 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 104. 

* MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 260. 



DOCUMENT no: JULY 2, l822 l6l 

affairs of that Republic, and inform him that Mr. Manuel Torres has been 
received by the President in the character of its Charge d'affaires. That 
with regard to the diplomatic intercourse between the two Countries, the 
President's wish is to place it on the footing most agreeable to the Republic 
of Colombia itself. Mr. Torres has suggested to me his belief that a Minister 
Plenipotentiary will shortly be appointed by the Colombian Government 
to the United States, and that he will be authorized to negotiate a Treaty of 
Amity and Commerce founded upon principles of entire reciprocity. He has 
been informed that the Minister will be received with pleasure and every 
proposition of negotiation with the most attentive and friendly consideration. 
And you will make known to the Colombian Government that a Minister 
of equal rank will be sent from the United States, in the event of the arrival 
of a Minister from that Republic here. You will add that the rank of 
Charg6 d'affaires corresponding with that of Mr. Torres here would be given 
you, but that it would require the sanction of the Senate, who are not in 
session. 

Should a Minister Plenipotentiary be appointed at any time before the 
next Session of the Senate, or then, you will be nominated as the Secretary 
to the Legation. 



110 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary oj State, to Pedro Gual, Secretary of State for 
Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia ^ 

Washington, July 2, 182^. 

Sir: Colonel Charles S. Todd, the bearer of this letter, will communicate 
to you the documents which exhibit the recognition by the Government of 
the United States, of the independence of the Republic of Colombia, and 
their disposition to enter into those relations of friendly intercourse, political 
and commercial, with that Republic, which are customary between inde- 
pendent Nations. With this view, Don Manuel Torres has been received by 
the President of the United States, in the capacity of Charge d'Affaires, with 
which he has been clothed by the Government of the Republic of Colombia. 
And I am directed by the President of the United States to inform you that 
a person with diplomatic character will be appointed at an early day, to 
reside, on the part of the United States, at the seat of your government. 
Colo. Todd will, in the mean time, have the honor of communicating further 
with you on this subject; and I pray you to give credit, as heretofore, to 
whatever he shall represent to you on the part of this government. 

Be pleased. Sir, to accept [etc.]. 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 105. 



l62 PART r. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

HI 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Richard Rush, United States 

Minister to Great Britain ^ 

Washington, July 24, 1822. 

Sir: Mr Manuel Torres, late Charg6 d'Affaires from the Republic of 
Colombia, wrote me a few days before his decease, a Letter, requesting me 
to recommend to your kind attentions Mr. Ravenga, now the Representa- 
tive of the Colombian Government in England. I take a melancholy satis- 
faction in complying with this request, not only with the view to fulfil the 
last wishes of a man of the most amiable and respectable character, but as it 
is altogether conformable to the wishes of the President, who will be gratified, 
should it be in your power to promote, by any suitable service, the views of 
Mr. Ravenga, and of his Government; particularly in obtaining that entire 
and unreserved acknowledgement of the independence of his Nation, which 
the United States have believed to be justly due to them, and of which 
they have been the first to set the example. You will of course understand 
that any step of this nature to be taken by you, will be deliberately weighed, 
and adapted in its time and circumstances, as well to the delicacy due to 
Spain, as to that which it is proper to observe towards the British Govern- 
ment. 

I am [etc.]. 



112 

Message of President James Monroe at the commencement of the second session 

of the Seventeenth Congress of the United States, communicated to the 

Senate, December j, 1822^ 

[extract] 

A strong hope was entertained that peace would, ere this, have been con- 
cluded' between Spain and the independent Governments south of the United 
States in this hemisphere. Long experience having evinced the competency 
of those Governments to maintain the independence which they had de- 
clared, it was presumed that the considerations which induced their recog- 
nition by the United States would have had equal weight with other powers, 
and that Spain herself, yielding to those magnanimous feelings of which her 
history furnishes so many examples, would have terminated, on that basis, 
a controversy so unavailing and at the same time so destructive. We still 
cherish the hope that this result will not long be postponed. 

Sustaining our neutral position, and allowing to each party, while the war 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, IX, 137. 
* American State Papers, Foreign Relations. V, 144. 



DOCUMENT 113: JANUARY 3, 1823 I63 

continues, equal rights, it is incumbent on the United States to claim of 
each, with equal rigor, the faithful observance of our rights according to the 
well-known law of nations. From each, therefore, a like co-operation is 
expected in the suppression of the piratical practice which has grown out 
of this war, and of blockades of extensive coasts on both seas, which, con- 
sidering the small force employed to sustain them, have not the slightest 
foundation to rest on. 



113 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to John Forsyth, United States Min- 
ister to Spain ^ 

[extractI 

Washington, January j, 1823. 

Besides the correspondence with Mr. Anduaga, copies of which are here- 
with transmitted, I have received several very long and earnest communica- 
tions from that minister, the replies to which have been and yet are delayed, 
in the hope that they may be received by him in a disposition more calm and 
temperate than that which is manifested by his notes. He appears to think 
it material to the interest of his Government to maintain the attitude of 
loud complaint in regard to transactions with respect to which the primary 
cause of complaint is on our side. The only exception to this remark relates 
to a miserable attempt at an expedition against the island of Porto Rico, 
headed by a foreign officer named Decoudray de Holstein, but on board of 
which were some misguided citizens of the United States. One of the 
vessels appears to have been fitted out at Philadelphia and one at New York, 
but the first intimation of these facts, received by this Government, was long 
after they had sailed, and from the island of St. Bartholomew's. 

We have since learned that the masters of the vessels were deceived with 
regard to their destination; and that when it was discovered by them they 
positively refused to proceed upon it, and insisted upon going into the 
island of Curagoa, where the chief and others of the expedition were arrested. 
You will make this known to the Spanish Government, and assure them that 
this Government knew nothing of this expedition before the departure of the 
vessels from the United States. This will not be surprising when it is known 
that it escaped equally the vigilance of Mr. Anduaga himself, who divides his 
residence between New York and Philadelphia, and of all the other Spanish 
official agents and consuls at those places. 

Mr. Anduaga has taken this occasion to renew, with much sensibility, all 
his own complaints and those of his predecessors against armaments in our 
1 American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V, 378. 



1 64 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

ports in behalf of the South American patriots, and even against that com- 
merce which our citizens, in common with the subjects of all the maritime 
nations of Europe, have for many years maintained with the people of the 
emancipated colonies. These complaints have been so fully and repeatedly 
answered that there is some difficulty in accounting for Mr. Anduaga's 
recurrence to them with the feelings which mark his notes concerning them. 
Should the occasion present itself, you will give it distinctly to be understood, 
that, if some of those notes remain long, and may even finally remain un- 
answered, it is from a principle of forbearance to him and of unequivocal 
good will towards his Government and his country. 
I am [etc.]. 



114 

President James Monroe to the United States Senate, communicated to the 

Senate in executive session, February 26, 1823,^ and the injunction 

of secrecy since removed 

Washington, February 25, 1823. 

To the Senate of the United States : 

By a resolution of the 27th of December last the President of the United 
States was requested to communicate to the Senate such information as he 
might possess respecting the political state of the island of St. Domingo; 
whether the government thereof was claimed by any European nation; what 
our commercial relations with the Government of the island were, and 
whether any further commercial relations with that Government would be 
consistent with the interest and safety of the United States. 

From the import of the resolution it is inferred that the Senate was fully 
aware of the delicate and interesting nature of the subject embraced by it in 
all its branches. The call supposes something peculiar in the nature of the 
Government of that island, and in the character of its population, to which 
attention is due. Impressed always with an anxious desire to meet every 
call of either House for information, I most willingly comply in this instance, 
and with a view to the particular circumstances alluded to. 

In adverting to the political state of St. Domingo, I have to observe that 
the whole island is now united under one Government, under a constitution 
which retains the sovereignty in the hands of the people of color, and with 
provisions which prohibit the employment in the Government of all white 
persons who have emigrated there since 18 16, or who may hereafter emigrate 
there, and which prohibit also the acquisition by such persons of the right of 
citizenship or to real estate in the island. In the exercise of this sovereignty 
* American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V, 240. 



DOCUMENT 115: APRIL II, 1 823 1 65 

the Government has not been molested by any European power. No in- 
vasion of the island has been made or attempted by any power. It is, how- 
ever, understood that the relations between the Government of France and 
the island have not been adjusted; that its independence has not been 
recognized by France, nor has peace been formally established between the 
parties. 

The establishment of a Government of people of color in the island, on the 
principles above stated, evinces distinctly the idea of a separate interest and 
a distrust of other nations. Had that jealousy been confined to the inhabit- 
ants of the parent country it would have been less an object of attention ; but 
by extending it to the inhabitants of other countries, with whom no difference 
ever existed, the policy assumes a character which does not admit of a like 
explanation. To what extent that spirit may be indulged or to what purpose 
applied our experience has yet been too limited to enable us to form a just 
estimate. These are inquiries more peculiarly interesting to the neighboring 
islands. They nevertheless deserve the attention of the United States. 

Between the United States and this island a commercial intercourse exists, 
and it will continue to be the object of this Government to promote it. Our 
commerce there has been subjected to higher duties than have been imposed 
on like articles from some other nations. It has, nevertheless, been exten- 
sive, proceeding from the wants of the respective parties and the enterprise of 
our citizens. Of this discrimination to our injury we had a right to complain 
and have complained. It is expected that our commercial intercourse with 
the island will be placed on the footing of the most favored nation. No 
preference is sought in our favor, nor ought any to be given to others. Re- 
garding the high interest of our happy Union, and looking to every circum- 
stance which may, by any possibility, affect the tranquillity of any part, 
however remotely, and guarding against such injury by suitable precau- 
tions, it is the duty of this Government to promote, by all the means in its 
power and by a fair and honorable policy, the best interest of every other 
part and thereby of the whole. Feeling profoundly the force of this obliga- 
tion, I shall continue to exert, with unwearied zeal, my best faculties to give 
it effect. 



115 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Robert K. Lowry, appointed United 
States Consul at La Giiayra ^ 

Washington, April ii, 1823. 

Sir: It gives me very great pleasure to be able to transmit to you the 
Secretary's letter, enclosing your Commission, as Consul of the United 
1 MS, Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 277. 



I66 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

States at La Guayra. Circumstances, connected with the unsettled state of 
things in Colombia, and the determination of the President to give as few 
formal Commissions as possible, till the complete recognition by the United 
States of the South American Governments should be given, have been the 
main obstacles to your getting such a Document as is now transmitted, a 
long time ago. 
I am [etc.]. 



116 

General instructions from John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Hugh 
Nelson, United States Minister to Spain ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, April 28, 1823. 

The critical and convulsed condition of Spain may indeed bring forth 
many incidents now unforeseen, and upon which the President relies upon 
your own judgement for the course which, under them, you will find it 
prudent to pursue. But with regard to the ordinary relations between the 
two countries there are. various objects upon which I now proceed to re- 
quest your attention. 

The renewal of the war in Venezuela has been signalized on the part of 
the Spanish commanders by proclamations of blockade unwarranted by 
the laws of nations, and by decrees regardless of those of humanity. With 
no other naval force than a single frigate, a brig, and a schooner, employed 
in transporting supplies from Curagoa to Porto Cabello, they have pre- 
sumed to declare a blockade of more than twelve hundred miles of coast. 
To this outrage upon all the rights of neutrality they have added the absurd 
pretension of interdicting the peaceable commerce of other nations with 
all the ports of the Spanish Main, upon the pretence that it had hereto- 
fore been forbidden by the Spanish colonial laws; and on the strength of 
these two inadmissible principles they have issued commissions, at Porto 
Cabello and in the island of Porto Rico, to a swarm of privateers, which 
have committed extensive and ruinous depredations upon the lawful com- 
merce of the United States as well as upon that of other nations, and partic- 
ularly of Great Britain. 

It was impossible that neutral nations should submit to such a system; 
the execution of which has been as strongly marked with violence and 
cruelty as was its origin with injustice. Repeated remonstrances against 
it have been made to the Spanish Government, and it became necessary to 
give the protection of our naval force to the commerce of the United States 
exposed to these depredations. 

^ American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V, 408. 



DOCUMENT Il6: APRIL 28, I823 167 

By the act of Congress, of March 3, i8i9,"to protect the commerce of 
the United States and punish the crime of piracy," the President was 
authorized to instruct the commanders of the pubHc armed vessels of the 
United States to take any armed vessel "which shall have attempted or 
committed any piratical aggression, search, restraint, depredation, or 
seizure upon any vessel of the United States, or of the citizens thereof, or 
upon any other vessel; and, also, to retake any vessel of the United States, 
or its citizens, which may have been unlawfully captured upon the high 
seas." 

A copy of this act and of the instructions from the Navy Department 
to the ofificers who have been charged with the execution of it are herewith 
furnished you. The instructions will enable you to show how cautiously 
this Government, while affording the protection due to the lawful commerce 
of the nation, has guarded against the infringement of the rights of all 
others. 

The privateers from Porto Rico and Porto Cabello have been, by their 
conduct, distinguishable from pirates only by commissions of most equiv- 
ocal character, from Spanish ofificers, whose authority to issue them has 
never been shown; and they have committed outrages and depredations 
which no commission could divest of the piratical character. During the 
same period swarms of pirates and of piratical vessels, without pretence or 
color of commission, have issued from the island of Cuba and the immediate 
neighborhood of the Havana, differing so little in the composition of their 
crews and their conduct from the privateers of Porto Cabello and Porto 
Rico as to leave little distinction other than that of being disavoived between 
them. These piracies have now been for years continued, under the im- 
mediate observation of the Government of the island of Cuba, which, 
as well as the Spanish Government, has been repeatedly and ineffectually 
required to suppress them. Many of them have been committed by boats 
within the very harbors and close upon the shores of the island. When 
pursued by superior force the pirates have escaped to the shores; and twelve 
months have elapsed since the late Captain General Mahy refused to Cap- 
tain Biddle the permission to land even upon the desert and uninhabited 
parts of the island where they should seek refuge from his pursuit. Gov- 
ernor Mahy at the same time declared that he had taken the necessary 
measures to defend his territorial jurisdiction and for the apprehension of 
every description of outlaws. 

Governor Mahy is since deceased; but neither the measures which he 
had then taken nor any since adopted by the Government of the island 
have proved effectual to suppress or in any manner even to restrain the 
pirates. From the most respectable testimony we are informed that these 
atrocious robberies are committed by persons well known, and that the 
traffic in their plunder is carried on with the utmost notoriety. They are 



l68 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

sometimes committed by vessels equipped as merchant vessels, and which 
clear out as such from the Havana. It has also been remarked that they 
cautiously avoid molesting Spanish vessels, but attack without discrim- 
ination the defenceless vessels of all other nations. You will see by a 
letter from Lieutenant Gregory to the Secretary of the Navy (p. 64 of the 
printed documents) that a large portion of the crews of the Porto Rico 
privateers consist of these same pirates from Cuba. 

In November last, a gallant officer of the Navy, Lieutenant Allen, lost 
his life in a conflict with some of these pirates; and an armament was im- 
mediately afterwards fitted out, and is now on the spot under the command 
of Commodore Porter, for the defence and protection of our commerce 
against them. Notice was despatched of this movement to Mr. Forsyth, 
by a special messenger, in January last, with instructions to him to require 
of the Spanish Government the permission to land in case of necessity in 
pursuit of the robbers. Copies of the instructions from the Secretary of 
the Navy are herewith furnished. From this statement of facts it is ap- 
parent that the naval officers of the United States who have been instructed 
to protect our commerce in that quarter have been brought in conflict with 
two descriptions of unlaivful captors of our merchant vessels, the acknowl- 
edged and disavowed pirates of Cuba, and the ostensibly commissioned 
privateers from Porto Rico and Porto Cabello; and that in both cases the 
actual depredators have been of the same class of Spanish subjects and often 
probably the same persons. The consequence has been that several of the 
commissioned privateers have been taken by our cruisers; and that in one 
instance a merchant vessel, belonging to the Havana, but charged upon oath 
of two persons as having been the vessel from which a vessel of the United 
States had been robbed, has been brought into port and is now at Norfolk 
to be tried at the next session of the District Court of the United States. 
In all these cases the Spanish minister, Anduaga, has addressed to this 
Department complaints and remonstrances in language so exceptionable 
that it precluded the possibility of an amicable discussion of the subject 
with him. In some of the cases explanations have been transmitted to Mr. 
Forsyth to be given in a spirit of amity and conciliation to the Spanish Gov- 
ernment. But as your mission affords a favorable opportunity for a full 
and candid exposition of them all, copies of the correspondence with Mr. 
Anduaga, relating to them, are annexed to these instructions, to which I 
add upon each case of complaint the following remarks: 

I. The first is the case of a man named Escandell, prize master of a Dutch 
vessel called the Neptune, taken by a privateer, armed in Porto Cabello, 
called the Virgin del Carmen, and retaken by the United States armed brig 
Spark, then commanded by Captain John H. Elton, since deceased. From 
the report of Captain Elton it appears: ist. That the Dutch vessel had been 
taken within the territorial jurisdiction of the Dutch island of Curagoa. 



DOCUMENT Il6: APRIL 28, 1 823 1 69 

2d. That he, Captain Elton, delivered her up to the Governor of the island 
of Aruba. 3d. That he retook her as a vessel piratically captured; the 
prize master, Escandell, having produced to him no papers whatsoever. 
He therefore brought him and the prize crew to Charleston, South Carolina, 
where they were prosecuted as pirates. 

Mr. Anduaga's first letter to me on this case was dated the 24th of July, 
1822,1 inclosing a copy of a letter from Escandell to the Spanish vice consul 
at Charleston, invoking his protection; Escandell being then in prison, and 
under indictment for piracy. He solicits the interposition of the vice con- 
sul, that he may obtain, from the Captain General of the Havana and the 
commanding officer at Porto Cabello, documents to prove that he was law- 
fully commissioned; and he alleges that the captain of the privateer had 
furnished him with a document to carry the prize into Porto Cabello; that 
he did deliver this document to Captain Elton, who concealed it from the 
court at Charleston; that Elton and his officers well knew that he, Escandell, 
was commissioned by the King of Spain, and had assisted at the disembark- 
ing of General la Torre with the privateer and the prize, but that Elton had 
withheld his knowledge of these facts from the grand jury. Mr. Anduaga's 
letter to me noticed this contradiction between the statement of Captain 
Elton and the declaration of Escandell, and requested that the trial at 
Charleston might be postponed till he could receive answers from the Captain 
General of the Havana and the commandant of Porto Cabello, to whom he 
had written to obtain the documents necessary to prove the legality of the 
capture. This was accordingly done. 

This letter of Mr. Anduaga was unexceptionable in its purport; but, on 
the 17th of October, 1 he addressed me a second, inclosing the papers which 
he had received from Porto Cabello, and assuming a style of vituperation 
not only against Captain Elton, then very recently dead, but against the 
Navy in general, the Government, and even the people of the United States, 
which required the exertion of some forbearance to avoid sending it back to 
him as unsuitable to be received at this Department from a foreign minister. 

It was the more unwarrantable, because, while assuming, as proved, 
against an officer of the United States, no longer living to justify himself, 
that he had concealed documents furnished him by Escandell, he declares it 
"evident that not the public service but avarice, and the atrocious desire of 
sacrificing upon a gibbet the lives of some innocent citizens of a friendly 
power, were the moving principles of this commander's conduct." To 
those who personally knew Captain Elton, what language could reply in 
terms of indignation adequate to the unworthiness of this charge? And 
how shall I now express a suitable sense of it, when I say that it was ad- 
vanced without a shadow of proof, upon the mere original assertion of 
Escandell, made in the most suspicious manner, and which the very docu- 
ments from Porto Cabello tended rather to disprove than to sustain. 

^ Not printed in this collection. 



170 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

It was made, I say, in the most suspicious manner; for, in his affidavit 
before the clerk of the United States court at Charleston, made on the 8th 
of June, 1822, where he might have been confronted by Captain Elton and 
the officers of the Spark, Escandell had not even hinted at this concealment 
of his papers by Captain Elton, or pretended that he had produced any to 
him. But after he had been arraigned upon the indictment, and after the 
court had, at the motion of his counsel, postponed his trial to the next term, 
for the express purpose of giving him time to obtain proof that he had been 
commissioned, in a secret letter to Castro, the owner of the privateer, at 
Porto Cabello, and in another to the Spanish vice consul at Charleston, he 
makes these scandalous allegations against Captain Elton at times and 
places where he could not be present to refute them. That the documents 
from Porto Cabello, transmitted to Mr. Anduaga, tended rather to disprove 
than to sustain them, you will perceive by an examination of the transla- 
tions of them herewith furnished you. The only documents among them 
showing the authority under which Escandell, when captured by Captain 
Elton, had possession of the Neptune, is a copy of the commission of the 
privateer Virgin del Carmen, which had taken the Neptune, and a decla- 
ration by the captain of the privateer, Lorenzo Puyol, that, on capturing 
the Neptune, he had put Escandell, as prize master, and six men, on board 
of her, ordering her into the port of Cabello, and furnishing Escandell with 
the documents necessary for his voyage. No copy of these documents is pro- 
duced ; and the declaration of this Captain Puyol himself is signed only with 
a cross, he not knowing how to write his name. 

It is conceived that the only admissible evidence of Escandell's regular 
authority as prize master of a captured vessel would have been an authenti- 
cated copy of the document itself, furnished him by Puyol. The extreme 
ignorance of this man, who appears, on the face of his own declaration, unable 
to write his own name, raises more than a presumption that he knew as 
little what could be a regular document for a prize master, and is by no means 
calculated to give confidence to his declaration as a substitute for the authen- 
tic copy of the document itself. The absurdity of the imputation of avari- 
cious motives to Captain Elton is demonstrated by the fact that he delivered 
up the prize, which was a Dutch vessel, to the Governor of Aruba, and to her 
original captain; and as to that of his having concealed Escandell's papers 
to bring him and six innocent seamen to a gibbet, I can even now notice it 
only to leave to the candor of the Spanish Government whether it ought 
ever to be answered. 

Copies are herewith furnished of Captain Elton's report of this trans- 
action to the Secretary of the Navy; of the agreement by which the Neptune 
was by him delivered up to the Dutch commandant, at the island of Aruba, 
Thielen; and of the receipt given by her original captain, Reinar Romer, to 
whom she was restored. In these documents you will see it expressly 



DOCUMENT Il6: APRIL 28, 1823 I7I 

stipulated both by the Dutch commandant and by Captain Romer that the 
"vessel and cargo, or the value thereof, should be returned to any legal 
authority of the United States of America, or to the Spanish Government, 
or prize claimants, in due course of the laws of nations.'' You will find, also, 
that in the document signed by Captain Romer he expressly declares that 
the persons by whom he had been captured purported to belong to a Spanish 
felucca privateer, but not having any credentials or authority to cruise upon 
the high seas with them he supposes them to have been pirates. 

This declaration of Romer himself is directly contradictory to the asser- 
tion which Escandell, in his affidavit at Charleston, on the 8th of June, 
1822, pretends that Captain Romer made to the boarding officer from the 
Spark, in answer to his inquiries whether Escandell and his men were 
pirates. Escandell says that Romer answered they were not\ Romer him- 
self says that he supposes they were. 

You will remark that, in the copy of Escandell's affidavit, transmitted by 
Mr. Anduaga to the Department of State, the name of the Dutch captain of 
the Neptune is written Reinas Buman, apparently by mistake in the copy. 
The name, as signed by himself, is Reinar Romer. 

On a review of the whole transaction, as demonstrated by these docu- 
ments, it will be seen that the conduct of Captain Elton was fair, honorable, 
cautiously regardful of the possible rights of the captors and Spanish Govern- 
ment, and eminently disinterested. He retook the Neptune, a Dutch ves- 
sel, at the request of an officer of the Dutch Government. He had already 
known and protected her as a neutral before. He restored her to her cap- 
tain without claiming salvage, and upon the sole condition that the Dutch 
Governor should restore to their owners, citizens of the United States, the 
proceeds of a vessel and cargo also wrongfully captured by a Spanish 
privateer, and which had been brought within his jurisdiction. And he 
provided that if the capture of the Neptune should eventually prove to 
have been lawfully made, the Dutch commandant and the captain of the 
Neptune himself should be responsible to the Spanish and American Govern- 
ments and to the captors for the result. 

I have entered into this detail of the evidence in this case not only to 
give you the means of satisfying the Spanish Government that the complaints 
of Mr. Anduaga against Captain Elton were as groundless in substance as 
they were unjust to him and disrespectful to this Government and nation 
in form, but to vindicate from unmerited reproach the memory of a gallant 
officer, of whose faithful and valuable services his country had been deprived 
by death only twenty days before these dishonorable imputations were cast 
upon him by Mr. Anduaga. 

The harshness and precipitation of that minister's judgment, in prefer- 
ring this complaint, is the more remarkable, inasmuch as he avows in that 
very note the opinion that the bare word, without proof, of a merchant cap- 



172 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

tain is not evidence sufficient to furnish even a pretext to the naval officers of 
the United States to attack the armed vessel by which he had been plundered. 
If the word of the captain of a merchant vessel, supported by his oath, were 
of such trivial account, of what weight in the scale of testimony is the bare 
word of a captain of a privateer who cannot write his name, to prove the 
existence and authority of a written or printed document pretended to have 
been given by himself? 

If the capture of the Neptune by Puyol had been lawful, her owners 
would at this day possess the means of recovering indemnity for their loss 
by the recapture, in the written engagements of the Dutch commandant, 
Thieleman, and of Captain Romer. But it was not lawful. By the docu- 
ments transmitted by Mr. Anduaga it appears that a part of the cargo of 
the Neptune, after her capture by the Virgin del Carmen, had been tran- 
shipped to another vessel, and that at Porto Cabello it was condemned by 
Captain Lavorde, commander of the Spanish frigate Ligera, who had 
issued the privateer's commission, and then sat as judge of the admiralty 
court upon the prize. And the sole ground of condemnation assigned is 
the breach of the pretended blockade by the Neptune and her tradmg with 
the Independent Patriots. You will remark the great irregularity and in- 
compatibility with the principles of general justice as well as of the Spanish 
Constitution, that one and the same person should be acting at once in the 
capacity of a naval officer, of a magistrate issuing commissions to privateers, 
and of a judge to decide upon the prizes taken by them. 

But the whole foundation of his decision is a nullity. The blockade was 
a public wrong. The interdiction of all trade was an outrage upon the 
rights of all neutral nations, and the resort to two expedients bears on its 
face the demonstration that they who assumed them both had no reliance 
upon the justice of either; for if the interdiction of all neutral trade with the 
Independents were lawful, there was neither use nor necessity for the block- 
ade; and if the blockade were lawful, there could be as little occasion or 
pretence for the interdiction of the trade. The correctness of this reason- 
ing can no longer be contested by the Spanish Government itself. The 
blockade and interdiction of trade have, from the first notice of them, not 
only been denounced and protested against by the Government and officers 
of the United States, but by those of Great Britain, even when the ally of 
Spain, and who has not yet acknowledged the independence of the revolted 
colonies. The consequences of these pretensions have been still more se- 
rious to Spain, since they terminated in a formal notification by the British 
Government that they had issued orders of reprisal to their squadrons in 
the West Indies to capture all Spanish vessels until satisfaction should be 
made for the property of all British subjects taken or detained under color 
of this preposterous blockade and interdiction. And Spain has formally 
pledged herself to make this demanded reparation. 



DOCUMENT Il6: APRIL 28, 1823 I73 

2. The second cause of complaint by Mr. Anduaga, upon which I have to 
animadvert, is that of the capture of the Porto Rico privateer Palmyra by 
the United States armed schooner Grampus, Lieutenant Gregory, commander. 

With his letter of the nth of October, 1822,1 -^/[j. Anduaga transmitted 
copies of a letter from the captain of the privateer Escurra to the Spanish 
consul at Charleston, dated the i6th of September, 1822, and of sundry 
depositions taken at Porto Rico from seamen who had belonged to her re- 
lating to the capture. The account of the transaction given by Lieutenant 
Gregory is among the documents transmitted to Congress with the Presi- 
dent's message at the commencement of the last session, pages 62, 63, and 
64, to which I refer. The subject is yet before the competent judicial tri- 
bunal of this country. 

The captain and seamen of the Palmyra, with the exception of those charged 
with the robbery of the Coquette, were discharged by a decree of the District 
Court of the United States at Charleston, and the vessel was restored to her 
captain; but the judge, (Drayton, since deceased,) in giving this decree, de- 
clared that Lieutenant Gregory had been fully justified in the capture. By 
a decree of the Circuit Court of the same district heavy damages were 
awarded against Lieutenant Gregory from which sentence there is an appeal 
pending before the Supreme Judicial Court of the United States. What- 
ever their final decision may be, the character of the court is a sure warrant 
that it will be given with every regard due to the rights and interests of all 
the parties concerned, and the most perfect reliance may be placed upon its 
justice, impartiality, and independence. The decision of the Circuit Court, 
indeed, would imply some censure upon the conduct of Lieutenant Gregory, 
and may be represented as giving support to the complaints of the Spanish 
minister against him. But it is the opinion of a single judge, in direct op- 
position to that of his colleague on the same bench, and liable to the revisal 
and correction of the supreme tribunal. It is marked with two principles, 
upon which it may be fairly presumed the judgment of the Supreme Court 
will be more in accord with that of the district. The justification of lieu- 
tenant Gregory for taking and sending in the Palmyra rests upon two im- 
portant facts: First, the robbery committed by part of her crew, sworn to 
by Captain Souther, of the schooner Coquette, and confirmed by the oaths 
of her mate and two of her seamen ; and secondly, that at the time of her cap- 
ture she had commenced the firing upon the Grampus by a full volley from 
small arms and cannon. But as the fact of the robbery from the Coquette 
was not in rigorously judicial evidence before the Circuit Court, the judgede- 
clared that, although he had no doubt the fact was true, yet, in the absence 
of the evidence to prove it, he must officially decide that it was false; and as 
to the circumstance of the first fire, as the Spanish and American testimony 
were in contradiction to each other, he should set them both aside and form 
his decision upon other principles. If, indeed, Lieutenant Gregory is ulti- 

1 Not printed in this collection. 



174 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

mately to be deprived of the benefit of these two facts, he will be \ehjtidi- 
cially without justification. But, considered with reference to the discharge 
of his duty as an officer of the United States, if the declaration of Captain 
Souther, taken upon oath, confirmed by those of his mate and two of his 
men, was not competent testimony upon which he was bound to act, upon 
what evidence could an officer of the Navy ever dare to execute his instruc- 
tions and the law by rescuing or protecting from the robbers of the sea the 
property of his fellow-citizens? 

The robbery of the Coquette by the boat's crew from the Palmyra is 
assuredly sufficiently proved for all other than judicial purposes by the fact, 
which was in evidence before the District Court, that the memorandum 
book, sworn by John Peabody, junior, mate of the Coquette, to have been 
taken from him, together with clothing, was actually found in a bag with 
clothing on board the Palmyra. 

In answering Mr. Anduaga's letter of October ii, I transmitted to him a 
copy of the printed decree of Judge Drayton, in which the most material 
facts relating to the case, and the principles applicable to it upon which his 
decision was given, are set forth. Some additional facts are disclosed in a 
statement published by Lieutenant Gregory, highly important to this dis- 
cussion, inasmuch as they identify a portion of the crew of the Palmyra 
with a gang of the Cape Antonio pirates, and with an establishment of the 
same character which had before been broken up by that officer. 

In a long and elaborate reply to my letter, dated the nth of December,^ 
1822, Mr. Anduaga, without contesting the fact that the Coquette had been 
robbed by the boarding crew from the Palmyra, objects to the decision of 
Judge Drayton, as if, by detaining for trial the individual seamen belonging 
to the Palmyra charged with the robbery, it assumed a jurisdiction dis- 
claimed by the very acknowledgment that the privateer was lawfully com- 
missioned, and sanctioned the right of search, so long and so strenuously 
resisted by the American Government. 

In this reply, too, Mr. Anduaga attempts, by laborious argument, to 
maintain, to the fullest and most unqualified extent, the right of the Spanish 
privateers to capture, and of the Spanish prize courts to condemn, all 
vessels of every other nation trading with any of the ports of the Independent 
Patriots of_ South America, because, under the old colonial laws of Spain, 
that trade had been prohibited. And with the consistency of candor, at 
least, he explicitly says that the decrees issued by the Spanish commanders 
on the Main, under the name of blockades, were not properly so called, but 
were mere enforcements of the antediluvian colonial exclusions; and such 
were the instructions under which the Palmyra, and all the other privateers 
from Port Rico and Port Cabello, have been cruising. Is it surprising that 
the final answer of Great Britain to this pretension was an order of reprisals? 
or that, under the laws of the United States, it has brought their naval 

' Not printed in this collection 



DOCUMENT Il6: APRIL, 28 1823 I75 

officers in conflict of actual hostility with priv^ateers so commissioned and 
so instructed? The Spanish Government have for many years had notice, 
both from Great Britain and from the United States, that they considered as 
rightful the peaceful commerce of their people with the ports in possession 
of the Independent Patriots. Spain herself has opened most of those of 
which her forces have been able to retain or to recover the possession. The 
blockades proclaimed by General Morillo, in 1815, were coupled with this 
same absurd pretension; they were formally protested against by the Gov- 
ernment of the United States; and wherever Morillo obtained possession, he 
himself immediately opened the port to foreign and neutral commerce. 

Mr. Anduaga seems to have had much confidence in the conclusiveness of 
his reasoning in this letter of December 1 1 ; for, without considering the 
character of our institutions which have committed to the Executive au- 
thority all communications with the ministers of foreign powers, he per- 
mitted himself the request that the President would communicate it to 
Congress; without having the apology for this indiscretion, which, on a prior 
occasion, he had alleged for a like request, namely, that it was in answer to 
letters from this Department which had been communicated to the Legisla- 
ture. In the former case he was indulged by compliance with his request. 
In the latter it was passed over without notice. But Mr. Anduaga was 
determined that his argument should come before the public, and sent a 
copy of it to the Havana, where it was published in the newspapers, whence 
it has been translated, and inserted in some of our public journals. 

The British order of reprisals; the appropriation by the Cortes of forty 
millions of reals for reparation to British subjects of damages sustained by 
them, in part from capture and condemnation of their property, under this 
absurd pretension; and the formal revocation by the King of Spain of these 
unlawful blockades, will, it is presumed, supersede the necessity of a serious 
argument in reply to that of Mr. Anduaga upon this point. It is in vain 
for Spain to pretend that, during the existence of a civil war, in which, by the 
universal law of nations, both parties have equal rights, with reference to 
foreign nations, she can enforce against all neutrals, by the seizure and con- 
demnation of their property, the laws of colonial monopoly and prohibitions, 
by which they had been excluded from commercial intercourse with the 
colonies before the existence of the war, and when her possession and au- 
thority were alike undisputed. And if, at any stage of the war, this preten- 
sion could have been advanced with any color of reason, it was pre-eminently 
nugatory on the renewal of the war, after the formal treaty between Morillo 
and Bolivar, and the express stipulation which it contained, that, if the war 
should be renewed, it should be conducted on the principles applicable to 
wars between independent nations, and not on the disgusting and sanguinary 
doctrine of suppressing rebellion. 

As little foundation is there for the inference drawn by Mr. Anduaga from 



176 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

the decree of the district judge, admitting the Palmyra to have been lawfully 
commissioned as a privateer, but detaining for trial the portion of her crew 
charged with the robbery from the Coquette, that it sanctions the right of 
search, against which the United States have so long and so constantly pro- 
tested : for, in the first place, the United States have never disputed the bel- 
ligerent right of search as recognized and universally practiced, conformably 
to the laws of nations. They have disputed the right of belligerents, under 
color of the right of search for contraband of war, to seize and cary away 
men, at the discretion of the boarding officer, without trial and without ap- 
peal; men, not as contraband of war, or belonging to the enemy, but as sub- 
jects, real or pretended, of the belligerent himself, and to be used by him 
against his enemy. It is the fraudulent abuse of the right of search, for 
purposes never recognized or admitted by the laws of nations; purposes, in 
their practical operation, of the deepest oppression, and most crying injus- 
tice, that the United States have resisted and will resist, and which warns 
them against assenting to the extension, in time of peace, of a right which 
experience has shown to be liable to such gross perversion in time of war. 
And secondly, the Palmyra was taken for acts of piratical aggression and 
depredation upon a vessel of the United States, and upon the property of 
their citizens. Acts of piratical aggression and depredation may be com- 
mitted by vessels having lawful commissions as privateers, and many such 
had been committed by the Palmyra. The act of robbery from the Coquette 
was, in every respect piratical ; for it was committed while the privateer was 
under the Venezuelan flag, and under that flag she had fired upon the Co- 
quette, and brought her to. It was piratical, therefore, not only as depre- 
dation of the property by the boat's crew who took it away, but as aggres- 
sion under the sanction of the captain of the privateer who was exercising 
belligerent rights under false colors. To combat under any other flag than 
that of the nation by which she is commissioned, by the laws of nations 
subjects a vessel, though lawfully commissioned, to seizure and condemna- 
tion as a pirate. — (See Valin's Ordonnance de la Marine, vol. 2., p. 239.) 
And although the decree of the district judge ordered the restitution of the 
vessel to her captain, because it held him to have been lawfully commissioned ; 
neither did the law of nations require, nor would the law of the United States 
permit, that men brought within the jurisdiction of the court, and charged 
with piratical depredations upon citizens of the United States, should be dis- 
charged and turned over to a foreign tribunal for trial, as was demanded by 
Mr. Anduaga. They had been brought within the jurisdiction of the court, 
not by the exercise of any right of search, but as part of the crew of a vessel 
which had committed piratical depredations and aggressions upon vessels 
and citizens of the United States. The District Court, adjudging the com- 
mission of the privateer to have been lawful, and considering the gun fired 
under the Venezuelan flag, to bring the Coquette to, though wrongful and 



DOCUMENT Il6: APRIL 28, 1823 I77 

unwarrantable, as not amounting rigorously to that combat, which would 
have been complete piracy, discharged the captain and portion of the crew 
which had not been guilty of the robbery of the Coquette, but reserved for 
trial the individuals charged with that act. 

The conduct of the Palmyra for months before her capture had been 
notoriously and flagrantly piratical. She had, in company with an other 
privateer, named the Boves, both commanded by the same captain, Pablo 
Slanger, fired upon the United States schooner Porpoise, Captain Ramage, 
who abstained from returning the fire. For this act of unequivocal hostility, 
Captian Slanger's only apology to Captain Ramage was, that he had taken 
the Porpoise for a Patriot cruiser.— (See documents with the President's 
message of December, 1822, p. 65.) Numbers of neutral vessels, of dif- 
ferent nations, had been plundered by her; and among the affidavits made 
to Lieutenant Gregory, at St. Thomas, was one of the master and mate of a 
French schooner, that she had been robbed by a boat's crew from her of a 
barrel of beef and a barrel of rice. In the letter from Captain Escurra to 
the Spanish consul at Charleston, he admits the taking of these provisions, 
alleging that the master of the French vessel gave them to him at his request. 
The affidavit of the French master and mate shows what sort of a gift it was, 
and is more coincident with all the other transactions of this privateer. 

In the same letter of December 1 1 , Mr. Anduaga, with more ingenuity than 
candor, attempts at once to raise a wall of separation between the pirates of 
Cuba and the privateersmen of Porto Rico and Porto Cabello, and to iden- 
tify the pirates, not only with all those who at a prior period had abused the 
several independent flags of South America, but with the adventurers from 
the United States who at diff^erent times have engaged in the Patriot service; 
and he endeavors to blend them all with the foolish expedition of last sum- 
mer against Porto Rico. While indulging his propensity to complain, he 
revives all the long exploded and groundless charges of his predecessors in 
former years, and does not scruple to insinuate that the Cuba pirates them- 
selves are North Americans from the United States. It is easy to discern 
and point out the fallacy of these endeavors to blend together things totally 
distinct, and to discriminate between things that are identical. It is in proof 
before our tribunals, in the case of the Palmyra itself, that some of the pirates 
of Cuba and of the Porto Rico privateersmen are the same. Among the 
Cuba pirates that have been taken, as well by the vessels of the United States 
as by British cruisers, not one North American has been found. A number 
of those pirates have been executed at the Bahama islands, and ten from one 
vessel at the island of Jamaica, all Spanish subjects, and from the Spanish 
islands. Not a shadow of evidence has been seen that, among the Cuba 
pirates, a single citizen of the United States was to be found. 

As to the complaints of Mr. Anduaga's predecessors, meaning those of 
Don Luis de Onis, it might have been expected that we should hear no more 



178 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

of them after the ratification of the treaty of 18 19. Whatever had been the 
merits of those complaints, full satisfaction for them all had been made by 
that treaty to Spain, and was acknowledged by the ratification of the Span- 
ish Government in October, 1820. Since that time no complaints had been 
made by Mr. Anduaga's predecessors. It was reserved for him as well to 
call up those phantoms from the dead, as to conjure new ones from the liv- 
ing. That supplies of every kind, including arms and other implements of 
war, have been, in the way of lawful commerce, procured within the United 
States for the account of the South American Independents, and at their 
expense and hazard exported to them, is doubtless true. And Spain has en- 
joyed and availed herself of the same advantages. 

The neutrality of the United States has, throughout this contest between 
Spain and South America, been cautiously and faithfully observed by their 
Government. But the complaints of Mr. Anduaga as well as those of his 
predecessor, Mr. Onis, are founded upon erroneous views and mistaken prin- 
ciples of neutrality. They assume that all commerce, even the most peace- 
ful commerce of other nations, with the South Americans, is a violation of 
neutrality. And while they assert this in principle, the Spanish commanders, 
in the few places where they yet hold authority, attempt to carry it into 
effect in a spirit worthy of itself. The decree of General Morales, of the 15th 
of September, 1822, is in perfect accord with the argument of Mr. Anduaga, 
on the nth of December of the same year. The unconcerted but concur- 
ring solemn protests against the former, of the Dutch Governor of Curagoa, 
Cantzlaar, of the British Admiral Rowley, and of our own Captain Spence 
were but the chorus of all human feeling revolting at the acts of which Mr. 
Anduaga's reasoning was the attempted justification. 

3. The next case of complaint by Mr. Anduaga is in a letter of the 23d of 
February last, against Lieutenant Wilkinson, commander of the United 
States schooner Spark, for capturing off the Havana a vessel called the 
Ninfa Catalana or the Santissima Trinidad, Nicholas Garyole master, and 
sending her into Norfolk. As there are reasons for believing that in this 
case Lieutenant Wilkinson acted upon erroneous information, a court of in- 
quiry has been ordered upon his conduct, the result of which will be communi- 
cated to you. The Ninfa Catalana remains for trial at the District Court to 
be held in the eastern district of Virginia in the course of the next month. 
Immediately after receiving Mr. Anduaga's letter on the subject, I wrote 
to the attorney of the United States for the district, instructing him to ob- 
tain, if possible, an extraordinary session of the court, that the cause might 
be decided without delay; but the judge declined appointing such session 
unless all the witnesses summoned to the court upon the case could be noti- 
fied of it, which not being practicable, the short delay till the meeting of the 
regular session of the court has been unavoidable. You will assure the Span- 
ish Government that the most impartial justice will be rendered to all the 



DOCUMENT Il6: APRIL 28, 1823 I79 

parties concerned, as well by the adjudication of the admiralty court as by 
the military inquiry on the conduct of Lieutenant Wilkinson. I ought to 
add, that no evidence hitherto has come to the knowledge of the Govern- 
ment which has implicated the correctness of Lieutenant Wilkinson's in- 
tentions, or manifested any other motive than that of discharging his duty 
and protecting the property of his fellow-citizens. 

4. The capture of the Spanish schooner Carmen, alias Gallega the Third, 
by the United States sloop-of-war Peacock, Captain Cassin, has furnished 
the fourth occasion for this class of Mr. Anduaga's remonstrances. 

There are two declarations, or depositions, made by the captain and per- 
sons who were on board of this vessel at the time of her capture: one at Pen- 
sacola, and the other at New Orleans. The first, before the notary, Jos6 
Escaro, by Jacinto Correa, captain of the Gallega, the pilot, Ramon Echa- 
varria, boatswain, Manuel Agacio, three sailors, and Juan Martin Ferreyro, 
a passenger. All the witnesses, after the first, only confirm, in general and 
unqualified terms, all his statements, although many of the circumstances, 
asserted by him as facts, could not have been personally known to them, and 
others could not have been known to himself but by hearing from some of 
them. The protest, for example, avers that, when first captured by the 
Peacock, Captain Correa, with his steward and cook, were taken on board 
that vessel, and, while they were there, he represents various disorders to 
have been committed on board of his own vessel by the boarding officer 
from the Peacock, though, by his own showing, he was not present to wit- 
ness them. His whole narrative is composed of alleged occurrences on 
board of three vessels, the Peacock, the Louisiana cutter, and the Gallega, 
and no discrimination is made between those of his own knowledge and those 
which he had heard from others. The second declaration was made before 
Antonio Argote Villalobos, Spanish consul at New Orleans, only by Captain 
Correa and Echavarria, the mate, and gives an account of several other Span- 
ish vessels captured by the Peacock while they were on board of that vessel 
as prisoners. A very inadequate reason is assigned by Captain Correa for 
not having made it at the same time with the first at Pensacola; and the 
whole purport of it is, to represent those other vessels which he had seen 
captured as inoffensive, unarmed vessels, and the capture of them by the 
Peacock as itself piratical. 

Copies of the proceedings of the courts at Pensacola and at New Orleans 
upon these cases are expected at this Department, and the substance of them 
will be duly communicated to you. 

In the meantime, the reports of Captain Cassin, of the Peacock, and of 
Captain Jackson, commander of the revenue cutter Louisiana, to the Navy 
Department, will give you a very different and, doubtless, more correct ac- 
count of these transactions. 

There is a strong reason for believing that the Gallega did actually be- 



l80 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

long to the gang of pirates of which those pretended inoffensive and unarmed 
vessels certainly formed a part; that Correa and Echavarria were testify- 
ing in behalf of their accomplices; and their warm sympathy with those con- 
victed pirates is much more indicative of their own guilt than of their be- 
lief in the innocence of the others. 

That the other vessels were piratical is no longer a subject of question or 
dispute. Two of them were carried by Captain Cassin to the Havana, 
where one of them, a schooner of nine guns, was claimed by a lady, widow 
of a merchant in that city, as her property, and, at her application, supported 
by that of the Captain General, was restored to her upon payment of 
$1,000 salvage. The part of the cargo which had been saved was sold in 
like manner with the approbation of the Captain General. The vessel had 
been taken by the pirates but a few days before, and, in retaking and restor- 
ing her to the owner, Captain Cassin had not only rendered an important 
service to a Spanish Subject, but taken from the pirates the means of commit- 
ting more extensive and atrocious depredations. 

Among the articles found on board of these vessels were some of female 
apparel, rent and blood-stained ; and many other traces to deeds of horror 
with which these desperate wretches are known to be familiar. The pirates 
had, when close pursued, abandoned their vessels and escaped to the shore. 
They were pursued, but not discovered. The coffee was found hidden in 
the woods, and, with the vessel brought into New Orleans, has been regularly 
condemned by the sentence of the court. And these are the characters, 
and this the description of people, whom Captain Correa and his mate, Echa- 
varria, represent, in their declaration before the Spanish consul at New Or- 
leans as innocent Spanish subjects, piratically plundered of their lawful prop- 
erty by Captain Cassin. And upon such testimony as this has Mr. Anduaga 
suffered himself to be instigated to a style of invective and reproach, not 
only against that officer, but against the officers of our Navy generally, 
against the Government and people of this country, upon which, while 
pointing it out and marking its contrast with the real facts of the case, I 
forbear all further comment. 

Let it be admitted that the Catalan Nymph and the Gallega were law- 
ful traders, and that, in capturing them as pirates, Lieutenant Wilkinson 
and Captain Cassin have been mistaken; that they had probable cause, 
sufficient for their justification, I cannot doubt, and am persuaded will, 
upon a full investigation of the cases, be made apparent. 

In the impartial consideration of this subject, it is necessary to advert to 
the character of these pirates, and to the circumstances which have made it 
so difficult to distinguish between lawfully commissioned and registered 
Spanish vessels and the pirates. 

The first of these has been the unlawful extent given to the commissions 
and instructions of the privateers, avowed by the Spanish Government — an 



DOCUMENT Il6: APRIL 28, 1823 18I 

authority to take all commercial vessels bound to any of the ports in pos- 
session of the Patriots. The very assumption of this principle, and the 
countenance given to it by the adjudications of the courts, was enough to 
kindle all the passions of lawless rapine in the maritime population of the 
islands. It was holding out to them the whole commerce of the neutral 
world as lawful prey. The next is the impunity with which those robberies 
have been committed in the very port of the Havana, and under the eye of 
the local Government. It is represented, and believed to be true, that many 
inhabitants of the city, merchants of respectable standing in society, are ac- 
tively concerned in these transactions. That of the village of Regla, oppo- 
site the city, almost all the inhabitants are, with public notoriety, concerned 
in them. That some of the deepest criminals are known and pointed at — 
while the vigilance or energy of the Government is so deficient that there is 
an open market for the sale of those fruits of robbery; and that threats of 
vengeance are heard from the most abandoned of the culprits against all who 
molest them in their nefarious and bloody career. 

The third is, that many of the piracies have been committed by merchant 
vessels laden with cargoes. The Spanish vessels of that description in the 
islands are all armed, and when taken by the pirates, are immediately con- 
verted to their own purposes. The schooner of nine guns, taken by Cap- 
tain Cassin, and restored to its owner in the Havana, affords one proof of 
this fact; and one of the most atrocious piracies committed upon citizens of 
the United States was that upon the Ladies' Delight, by the Zaragosana, a 
vessel regularly cleared at the Havana as a merchant vessel. 

There are herewith furnished you copies of the general instructions, from 
the Secretary of the Navy, given to all our naval officers, successively 
stationed in those seas, for the protection of our commerce and for carry- 
ing into effect the laws against piracy and the slave trade, together with 
printed copies of those laws. They will enable you to present to the 
Spanish Government the most conclusive proof of the friendly sentiments 
towards Spain, and of the undeviating regard to her rights which have 
constantly animated this Government, and effectually to counteract any 
representations of a different character, which may be made by Mr. Anduaga. 

In reflecting upon the conduct of this minister, during his residence in 
the United States, it has been impossible to avoid the suspicion that it has 
been instigated by a disposition, not more friendly to the existing liberal in- 
stitutions of his own country than to the harmonious intercourse, to which 
they were so well calculated to contribute, between the United States and 
Spain. 

From the time of the re-establishment in Spain of a constitutional Gov- 
ernment the sympathies of this country have been warm, earnest, and unan- 
imous in favor of her freedom and independence. The principles which she 
asserts and maintains are emphatically ours, and, in the conflict with which 



l82 PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

she is now threatened for supporting them, a cordial good understanding 
with us was as obviously the dictate of her policy as it was the leading prin- 
ciple of ours. This national sentiment has not been silent or unobserved. 
It was embodied and expressed in the most public and solemn manner in 
the message to Congress at the commencement of their last session, as will 
be within your recollection. The conduct of the Government has been 
invariably conformable to it. The recognition of the South American Gov- 
ernments, flowing from the same principle which enlisted all ouf feelings in 
the cause of Spain, has been, in its effects, a mere formality. It has in no- 
wise changed our actual relations, either with them or with Spain. All the 
European powers, even those which have hitherto most strenuously denied 
the recognition inform, have treated and will treat the South Americans as 
independent in fact. By his protest, against the formal acknowledgment, 
Mr. Anduaga had fulfilled his duties to his own Government, nor has any one 
circumstance arisen from that event which could require of him to recur to 
it, as a subject of difference between us and Spain, again. We have not 
been disposed to complain of his protest, nor even of his permanent resi- 
dence at a distance from the seat of Government. But the avidity with 
which he has seized upon every incident which could cause unpleasant feel- 
ings between the two countries ; the bitterness with which his continual notes 
have endeavored to exasperate and envenom; the misrepresentations of 
others, which he has so precipitously assumed as undeniable facts; and the 
language in which he has vented his reproaches upon the fair and honor- 
able characters of our naval officers, upon the Government, and even the 
people of this Union; and, above all, the artifice by which he suffered the 
absurd and riduculous expedition of De Coudray Holstein to obtain some 
paltry supplies of men and arms in this country, without giving notice of it 
to this Government, when they might have effectually broken it up, leaving 
it unknown to us till after its inevitable failure, when he could trump it up as 
a premeditated hostility of ours against Spain, and a profligate project of in- 
vasion of her possessions, are indications of a temper which we can trace to 
no source, either of friendly feeling towards our country or of patriotic de- 
votion to his own. It has the aspect of a deliberate purpose to stir up and 
inflame dissentions between the United States and Spain; to produce and 
cherish every means of alienation and distrust between them, with ultimate 
views to the counteraction of these differences, upon the internal adminis- 
tration and Government of his own nation. 

It is hoped that he will, in no event, be permitted to return hither; and, 
in the full and just explanations which you will be enabled to give upon 
every complaint exhibited by him while here, the Spanish Government will 
be satisfied with the justice, and convinced of the friendly disposition to- 
wards Spain, which have governed all our conduct. With the same spirit, 
and the just expectation that it will be met with a reciprocal return, you 



DOCUMENT Il6: APRIL 28, 1823 I83 

will represent to them the claim of all the citizens of the United States, 
whose vessels and other property have been captured by the privateers from 
Porto Rico and Porto Cabello, and condemned by the courts of those places 
for supposed breaches of the pretended blockade, or for trading with the 
South American Independents. Restitution or indemnity is due to them 
all; and is immediately due by the Spanish Government, inasmuch as these 
injuries, having been sanctioned by the local authorities, military and civil, 
the sufferers in most of the cases can have no resort to the individuals by 
whom the captures were made. A list of all the cases which have come yet 
to the knowledge of this Department is now inclosed. There are probably 
many others. An agent will be shortly sent to collect, at the respective 
places, the evidence in all the cases not already known, and to obtain, as far 
as may be practicable, restitution by the local authorities. Whatever may 
be restored by them will diminish by so much the amount of claim upon the 
Spanish Government; which will be the more indisputable, as they have al- 
ready admitted the justice and made provision for the satisfaction of claims 
of British subjects which sprung from the same cause. 

Of the formal revocation by the Spanish Government of the nominal 
blockade the Governor of Porto Rico has given express notice to Commo- 
dore Porter. As a consequence of this, it is hoped that no commissions for 
privateers will be issued. The revocation did, indeed, come at a critical 
time; for it cannot be too strongly impressed upon the Spanish Government 
that all the causes of complaint, both by Spanish subjects against the 
Navy ofificers of the United States, and by the citizens of the United 
States, with which you are now charged, proceeded directly, or as a conse- 
quence, from those spurious blockades. They were in violation of the laws 
of nations. They were in conflict with the law of Congress for protecting 
the commerce of the United States. It was impossible that ships-of-war 
of the United States with commanders instructed to carry that law into 
execution, and Spanish privateers commissioned and instructed to carry in- 
to effect the atrocious decree of General Morales, should meet and fulfil 
their respective instructions without hostile collision. The decree of Gen- 
eral Morales constituted all those Spanish subjects who acted under it in a 
state of war de facto with all neutral nations; and on the sea it was a war of 
extermination against all neutral commerce. It is to the responsibility of 
her own officers, therefore, that Spain must look for indemnity to the 
wrongs endured by her own subjects as necessary consequences of their 
official acts, as well as for the source of her obligation to indemnify all the 
innocent sufferers under them who are entitled to the protection of other 
nations. You will take an immediate opportunity, after your reception, to 
urge upon the Spanish Government the absolute necessity of a more vig- 
orous and energetic exercise of the local authorities in the island of Cuba for 
the suppression of the piracies by which it is yet infested. Their profes- 



1 84 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

sions of co-operation with the naval force of the United States to this object 
have not been followed up by corresponding action. As long since as last 
May Captain Biddle, then commanding the Macedonian frigate, represented 
to the Captain General, Mahy, the necessity that would frequently arise of 
pursuing them from their boats to the shores on the desert and uninhabited 
parts of the island, and requested permission to land for such purpose, which 
was explicitly refused. Mr. Forsyth has been instructed to renew the de- 
mand of this permission to the Spanish Government itself. And, as there 
are cases in which the necessity will constitute the right of anticipating that 
permission, Commodore Porter has been instructed accordingly. From a 
recent debate in the British Parliament it appears that similar instructions 
have been given to the commanders of the British squadrons despatched 
for the protection of the commerce of that nation, and that when notified 
to the Spanish Government, although at first resisted by them, they finally 
obtained their acquiescence. These circumstances will serve for answer to 
one of the most aggravated complaints of Mr. Anduaga against Captain Cassin. 
That officer did land ; and although not successful in overtaking the pirates 
themselves, he did break up one of the deposits of their lawless plunder, 
burned several of their boats, and took from them two of their armed ves- 
sels. Mr. Anduaga sees in all this nothing but a violation of his Catholic 
Majesty's territory; a sentiment, on such an occasion, which would be more 
suitable for an accessory to the pirates than for the of^cer of a Government 
deeply and earnestly intent upon their suppression. 

From the highly esteemed and honorable character of General Vives, who 
has, probably, before this, arrived at the Havana as Governor and Captain 
General of the island, we hope for more effectual co-operation to this most 
desirable event. There has been, according to every account, a laxity and 
remissness on that subject in the Executive authority of that port which we 
hope will no longer be seen. The boldness and notoriety with which crimes 
of such desperate die are committed in the very face of authority is, of it- 
self, irrefragable proof of its own imbecility or weakness. Spain must be 
sensible that she is answerable to the world for the suppression of crimes 
committed within her jurisdiction, and of which the people of other nations 
are almost exclusively the victims. The pirates have generally, though 
not universally, abstained from annoying Spanish subjects and from the 
robbery of Spanish property. It is surely within the competency of the 
Government of Cuba to put down that open market of the pirates which has 
so long been denounced at the Havana. It appears that masters of Ameri- 
can vessels which had been robbed have seen their own property openly 
exposed to sale in that city, but have been dissuaded from reclaiming it by 
the warning that it would expose them to the danger of assassination. One 
instance, at least, has occurred of unpunished murder of a citizen of the 
United States for the indiscreet expression of his expectation that the arri- 



DOCUMENT 117: APRIL 29, 1823 185 

val of Commodore Porter's squadron would secure more respect to the 
persons and property of American citizens; and other cases have happened 
of outrages upon citizens of the United States in which the protecting power 
of the Government has been deficient, at least, in promptitude and vigor. 

To the irritation between the people of the two nations, produced by the 
consequences of the abominable decree of General Morales, must be attrib- 
uted that base and dastardly spirit of revenge which recently actuated a 
Spanish subaltern officer at Porto Rico, by which Lieutenant Cocke lost 
his life. Copies of the correspondence between Commodore Porter and the 
Governor of Porto Rico on that occasion are among the inclosed papers. 
They will show that the act of firing upon the Fox was utterly wanton and 
inexcusable; and the President desires that you would expressly demand 
that the officer, by whom it was ordered, should be brought to trial and 
punishment for having ordered it. 



117 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Thomas Randall, Special Agent 
of the United States in Cuba^ 

[extract] 

Washington, April 2g, 182J. 

Sir: During your residence in the Island of Cuba, you will from time to 
time, as safe opportunities may occur communicate to this Department, in 
private and confidential letters, all such information as you may be able to 
obtain, relating to the political condition of the Island; the views of its Gov- 
ernment and the Sentiments of its inhabitants. You will attentively ob- 
serve all occurrences having relation to their connection with Spain, and to 
the events which may result from the War between France and Spain, 
probably now commenced. Should there be French or British Agents re- 
siding at the Havanna, you will endeavour to ascertain, without direct in- 
quiries, or apparent curiosity, on the subject, their objects and pursuits; 
and you will notice whatever Maritime force of either of those Powers, may 
be stationed in the West Indies, or present themselves in the vicinity of the 
Island. 

You will be mindful of any apparent popular agitation; particularly of 
such as may have reference either to a transfer of the Island from Spain to 
any other Power; or to the assumption by the Inhabitants of an Independ- 
ent Government. If in your intercourse with Society, inquiries should be 
made of you, with regard to the views of the Government of the United 
^MS. Dispatches to United States Consuls, II, 283. 



l86 PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

States, concerning the political state of Cuba, you will say, that so far as 
they were known to you, from having resided at the Seat of Government, 
the first wish of the Government was for the continuance of Cuba in its 
political connection with Spain; and that it would be altogether averse to 
the transfer of the Island to any other Power. You will cautiously avoid 
committing yourself upon any proposals which may be suggested to you, 
of co-operation in any measure proposing a change of the political condition 
of its People; but will report as above mentioned to me, whatever may in 
any manner become known to you in this respect, and the communication 
of which may be useful to the public service. Exercise a discriminating 
judgment, upon all Evidence of what you shall report as information, so 
that we may distinguish the degree of credit due to every statement of fact. 
You will duly distrust mere popular rumours, but neglect no probable 
source of useful information. 



118 

General instructions of John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Caesar A . 
Rodney, appointed United States Minister to Buenos Aires^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, May ly, 1823. 

Sir: The establishment of Independent nations and Governments in 
South America forms a remarkable era in the History of the world, and the 
formal interchange of Diplomatic Missions with them is a memorable event 
in that of our own Country. The interest which you have taken in the prog- 
ress of the Revolution which has released those extensive regions from their 
State of Colonial Dependence, and introduced them to their equal station 
among the nations of the Earth, and the part you have already borne in the 
preceding public transactions between the United States and the Republic 
of Buenos Ayres, concurring with the confidence of the President in your 
long tried abilities, patriotism and integrity has induced your appointment 
to the Mission upon which you are about to depart. 

The circumstances here alluded to, supercede the necessity of reviewing 
the general course of policy hitherto pursued by the United States with re- 
gard to the struggle for South American Independence. It has been fully 
known to you, and should an occasion arise during the continance of your 
Mission, in which it may be useful to the public service, that our system of 
conduct towards South America should be unfolded, you will be amply com- 
petent to the task without any need of further special Instructions from 
this Department. 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, IX, 250. 



DOCUMENT Il8: MAY 1 7, 1 823 1 87 

The relations of the United States, with Buenos Ayres, however, hither- 
to, so far as they have been sustained by Agents of the respective Govern- 
ments, have been informal, and disconnected. The appointment of a pub- 
lic Minister to reside at that place, is the proper occasion for recurring to 
the Principles upon which the future and permanent relations between the 
two Countries should be settled. 

Those relations will be either political or commercial. 

Of all the Southern Republics, Buenos Ayres has been the longest in pos- 
session of Independence uncontested within its own Territory by the Arms 
of Spain. Its internal convulsions, and revolutions have been many, and 
are yet far from being at their close. It has on one hand carried the War 
of Independence into Chili and Peru, but on the other by its vicinity to the 
Portuguese territory of Brazil it has lost the possession of Monte Video, 
and of the Banda Oriental, or Eastern shore of La Plata. The first 
establishment of the Buenos Ayrean Government, was under the ambitious 
and aspiring title of "the Independent Provinces of South America." It 
was afterwards changed for that of the Independent provinces of La Plata, 
which it is believed still to retain. But it is far from embracing within its 
acknowledged authority, all the Provinces situated on that River: and for 
the last two or three years its effective Government has been restricted to 
the single province of Buenos Ayres. It has undergone many changes of 
Government, violent usurpations of authority, and forcible dispossessions 
from it; without having so far as we know to this day settled down into 
any lawful establishment of power by the only mode in which it could be 
effected — a constitution formed and sanctioned by the voice of the people. 

Buenos Ayres also, more than any other of the South American Provinces, 
has been the Theatre of foreign European intrigues; with Spain itself in a 
negotiation for receiving a Spanish Prince as their Sovereign ; with the Court 
of Rio-Janeiro for Portuguese princes and princesses, and for cessions of 
territory as the price of acknowledged Independence; and with France for 
the acquisition of a legitimate Monarch in the person of a Prince of Lucca. 
A hankering after Monarchy has infected the politics of all the successive 
governing authorities of Buenos Ayres, and being equally contrary to the 
true policy of the Country, to the general feeling of all the native Americans, 
and to the liberal institutions congenial to the spirit of Freedom has pro- 
duced its natural harvest of unappeasable dissentions, sanguinary civil Wars, 
and loathsome executions, with their appropriate attendance of arbitrary 
imprisonments, a subdued and perverted press, and a total annihilation of 
all civil liberty and personal security. The existing Government of Buenos 
Ayres by all the accounts received from Mr. Forbes is less tainted with this 
corruption than most of their predecessors. Mr. Rivadavia, the Pvlinister 
of Foreign Relations, and most effective member of the Government is 
represented as a Republican in principle, of solid talents, stern integrity, and 



l88 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

faithfully devoted to the cause of order, as well as of Liberty — It is with 
infinite difficulty and in conflict with repeated conspiracies that he has been 
able to maintain himself hitherto, and the hope may be entertained that the 
principles of which he is the supporter will ultimately surmount all the ob- 
stacles with which they are contending, and that a Constitution emanating 
from the people and deliberately adopted by them will lay the foundations 
of their happiness, and prosperity on their only possible basis, the enjoy- 
ment of equal rights. 

To promote this object so far as friendly counsel may be acceptable 
to the Government existing there, will be among the interesting objects 
of your Mission. At this time and since October 1820, the Government con- 
fined, as is understood to the single province of Buenos Ayres, is adminis- 
tered by a Governor, and Captain General, named Martin Rodriguez: the 
Legislative authority being exercised by a Junta elected by popular suffrage, 
and a portion of which has been recently chosen. The relations between 
this province, and the rest of those which heretofore formed the Vice Roy- 
alty of La Plata, are altogether unsettled and although repeated efforts 
have been made to assemble a Congress in which they should be repre- 
sented, and by which a constitutional Union might be definitively arranged, 
they have hitherto proved ineffectual. 

In the mean time a more extensive Confederation has been projected 
under the auspices of the new Government of the Republic of Colombia. 
In the last despatch received from Mr. Forbes dated the 27 January last, 
he mentions the arrival and reception at Buenos Ayres of Mr. Joaquin Mos- 
quera y Arbolada, senator of the Republic of Colombia. And their Minis- 
ter Plenipotentiary, and Extraordinary, upon a Mission, the general object 
of which, he informed Mr. Forbes, was to engage the other Independent 
Governments of Spanish America to unite with Colombia in a Congress 
to be held at such point as might be agreed on, to settle a general system of 
American Policy, in relation to Europe, leaving to each section of the Coun- 
try, the perfect liberty of Independent self Government. For this purpose 
he had already signed a Treaty with Peru, of which he promised Mr. Forbes 
the perusal : but there were some doubts with regard to the character of his 
associations, and the personal influence to which he was accessible at 
Buenos Ayres, and Mr. Forbes, had not much expectation of his success in 
prevailing on that Government to enter into his project of extensive fed- 
eration. 

By Letters of a previous date, November 1822, received from Mr Pre- 
vost, it appears, that the project is yet more extensive than Mr. Mosquera 
had made known to Mr. Forbes. It embraces North, as well as South 
America, and a formal proposal to join and take the lead in it is to be made 
known to the Government of the United States. 

Intimations of the same design have been given to Mr. Todd at Bogota. 



DOCUMENT Il8: MAY I7, 1823 I89 

It will be time for this Government to deliberate concerning it, when it 
shall be presented in a more definite and specific form. At present it indi- 
cates more distinctly a purpose on the part of the Colombian Republic to 
assume a leading character in this Hemisphere, than any practicable ob- 
ject of utility which can be discerned by us. With relation to Europe there 
is perceived to be only one object, in which the interests and wishes of the 
United States can be the same as those of the Southern American Nations, 
and that is that they should all be governed by Republican Institutions, 
politically and commercially independent of Europe. To any confederation 
of Spanish American provinces for that end, the United States would yield 
their approbation, and cordial good wishes. If more should be asked of 
them, the proposition will be received, and considered in a friendly spirit, 
and with a due sense of its importance. 

The Treaty with Peru is not likely to be attended with much immediate 
effect. The State of Peru itself has hitherto been, that rather of declared 
than of established Independence. The temporary Government assumed 
and administered by General San Martin, has been succeeded by his retire- 
ment, and by a signal defeat of the Patriotic forces, which may probably re- 
store all Peru to the Spanish Royalists. Mr. Forbes attributes the retreat 
of San Martin, and the State of Peru after that event, and preceding this 
last disaster, to misunderstandings between San Martin, and the President 
of the Colombian Republic, Bolivar. This is highly probable; at all events 
it is certain that the concerted project of liberating Peru by the combined 
forces of Buenos Ayres, Chili and Colombia, has entirely failed; and there is 
every probability that henceforth the Independence of Peru must be re- 
gained by the internal energies of the People, or re-achieved by the Military 
forces of the Colombian Republic only. 

So far as objects of Policy can be distinctly perceived at this distance, 
with the information which we possess, and upon a subject so complicated 
in itself, so confused by incidents with which it is surrounded, and so com- 
prehensive in its extent, the political interest of Buenos Ayres, rather points 
to the settlement of its concerns altogether internal, or in its immediate 
neighbourhood, than to a confederation embracing the whole American 
Hemisphere. It is now little more than the government of a single city, with 
a population less than half, perhaps less than one third that of New York. 
To form a solid Union with the provinces with which it was heretofore con- 
nected in the Vice Royalty; to put down the remnant of ecclesiastical domi- 
nation, to curb the arbitrary dispositions of Military power, to establish a 
truly Representative Government, personal security, and the freedom of the 
press and purposes which the present administration appears to have sin- 
cerely at heart, and in the pursuit of which they may without undue inter- 
ference in their internal concerns to be exhorted to active and inexflexible 
perseverance. 



190 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

They will doubtless always understand that to them, Independence of 
Europe does not merely import Independence of Spain nor political inde- 
pendence alone. The principles of the Government now in power appear in 
this respect to be sound, although from some late communications of Mr. 
Forbes, it might be surmised that the dispositions of the Minister of Gov- 
ernment, and of foreign affairs himself, are not entirely free from European 
partialities. The occupation of Montevideo, and of the Banda Oriental by 
the Portuguese has perhaps been one of the principal causes of the distrac- 
tions which have marked the Revolutionary movements of Buenos Ayres. 
While that occupation continues, the interests and commerce of all the 
Countries watered by the Rivers Uruguay, Parana and Paraguay must be 
controlled by the power holding that first and principal seaport of the Plate 
River, Montevideo. The power of Portugal itself has now ceased in Brazil, 
and an empire probably as ephemeral as that of Mexico, at our doors, has 
taken its place. Before this last Revolution had been completed, the Por- 
tuguese Government of Brazil had acknowledged the Independence of 
Buenos Ayres; but that acknowledgment was dearly purchased, if paid for 
by the cession of the Banda Oriental. As yet the possession of Montevideo 
has been Military, by troops chiefly, if not all European Portuguese, under 
the command of General Le Cor, Baron of Lacuna. These troops have fol- 
lowed the Revolutionary Movement, not of Brazil, but of Portugal. The 
command of their General, over them, has been for some time little more 
than nominal, and as they neither recognize the Brazilian Empire, nor are 
able to maintain themselves by resources from Europe, they must soon evac- 
uate the country and return to Lisbon. From the time of their departure 
Mr. Forbes appears to expect that the inhabitants of the Oriental Band 
themselves will prefer their old and natural connection with Buenos Ayres 
to a forced Union with the Empire of Brazil. It will certainly be the favor- 
able moment for Buenos Ayres to recover the Eastern shore of the River, and 
with it the means of re-uniting under one free and Republican Government 
the scattered fragments of the old Vice-royalty of La Plata. 

There will be then much less of incentive for a Buenos Ayrean Govern- 
ment to the (Contamination of dark intrigues with Portuguese Princesses, or 
to the degrading purchase of a Prince of Lucca to rule over them as a King. 
The Independence of an American nation can never be completely secured 
from European sway, while it tampers for authority with the families of 
European Sovereigns. It is impossible that any great American interest 
should be served by importing a petty prince from Europe to make him a 
king in America. The absurdity of all such negotiations is so glaring, that 
nothing but the notorious fact that they have pervaded the whole history 
of Buenos Ayres from the first assertions of its Independence could excuse 
this reference to them. The special right that we have to object to them, 
is, that they are always connected with systems of subserviency to European 



DOCUMEN'T Il8: MAY I7, 1823 I9I 

interests: to projects of political and commercial prefere^ices, to that Euro- 
pean nation from whose stock of Royalty the precious scion is to be en- 
grafted. The Government of Pueyrredon was deeply implicated in these 
negotiations; and the consequence was, that in the project of a Treaty drawn 
up and signed by his authority with Mr. Worthington he refused to insert an 
article, stipulating for the United States, commercial advantages on equal 
footing with the most favoured Nation. Dr. Tagle afterwards endeavoring 
to explain this incident to Mr. Pre vost, professed that the object had been to 
grant special favors to the power which should first acknowledge their inde- 
pendence. As if the surrender of the thing was an equivalent for the acqui- 
sition of the name; and as if by ratifying that very Treaty the United 
States would not have been the first to acknowledge the Independence of 
the Government with which it was formed. 

It is hoped that you will find little of this spirit remaining to contend 
with. The head of the Government is yet a Military officer. But the prin- 
ciples always avowed by Mr. Rivadavia, the Minister and effective Member 
of the Government are emphatically American. A Government by popular 
Representation and periodical election. The subordination of the Military 
to the Civil authority — The suppression of ecclesiastical supremacy — ^The 
freedom of the press, and the security of personal liberty, appear to be duly 
appreciated by him, as the only foundations of a social compact suited to 
the wants of his Country; and with these fundamental principles, no prefer- 
ence for European connections, much less predilections for European princes 
can be entertained. 

The foundation of our municipal Institutions is equal rights. The basis 
of all our intercourse with foreign powers is Reciprocity. We have not de- 
manded, nor would we have accepted special priviledges of any kind in re- 
turn for an acknowledgment of Independence. But that which we have 
not desired and would not have accepted for ourselves, we have a right 
to insist ought not to be granted others. Recognition is in its nature, 
not a subject of equivalent; it is claimable of right or not at all. You 
will therefore strenuously maintain the right of the United States to be 
treated in every respect on the footing of the most favoured; or as it is more 
properly expressed, the most friendly nation — Gentis amicissima; and 
should you negotiate a Treaty of Commerce you will make that principle 
the foundation of all its provisions. . . . 

Heretofore while the Government of Buenos Ayres authorized and en- 
couraged a system of privateering as one of their means of warfare against 
Spain, among the many complaints which in its consequences it gave us too 
much reason to make, was that of the seduction of our seamen from our Mer- 
chant-vessels frequenting the Port, to man the privateers fitting out under 
the Buenos Ayrean flag. This mischief was much aggravated by two Ar- 
ticles in their privateering ordinance, substantially violating the Laws of 



192 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

Nations, and opening the door to the most outrageous abuses. Mr. Forbes 
was instructed to remonstrate against them; and among the earliest and 
wisest acts of the present administration after the appointment of Mr. Riva- 
davia was the renovation of all the privateering Commissions. The right 
to renew them was reserved, but has not been exercised. Should it be so 
during your residence there, you will renew the remonstrance particularly 
against the two Articles; the 3d. and 8th. of the privateering ordinance of 
15th May 1817, by the first of which foreigners never having even been in 
the Country may be Captains and Officers of privateers; while by the other 
they have a discretionary power to send their prizes where they please. 
These two Articles are little less than licenses of Piracy. They trespassed 
upon the rights of other nations, and held out the worst of temptations to 
their seamen. It is sincerely hoped they will never be revived. 

The present administration have in other respects manifested a disposi- 
tion to protect our Merchant-vessels in their ports from the desertion of 
their seamen, and at the representation of Mr. Forbes, issued on the 14th 
March 1822, an ordinance of maritime police entirely satisfactory. Since 
that time it is not known that the Masters of any of our vessels there have 
had occasion to complain of the loss of their seamen by desertion ; and the 
principle having been thus established, it may be hoped there will be no 
cause for complaint hereafter. Your attention to the maritime ordinance 
is invited only as it may point you to the remedy already provided, should 
there be a necessity for resorting to it. . . . 



119 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Richard C. Anderson, appointed 
United States Minister to Colombia^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, May 27, 1823. 

The revolution which has severed the colonies of Spanish America from 
European thraldom, and left them to form self-dependent Governments as 
members of the society of civilized nations, is among the most important 
events in modern history. As a general movement in human affairs it is 
perhaps no more than a development of principles first brought into action 

I MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, IX, 274. In American Slate Papers, 
Foreign Relations, V, 888, will be found extracts from this instruction which contain some 
paragraphs not included here since they are not pertinent and omit several portions here 
included which are pertinent. Anderson was commissioned minister to Colombia, January 
27, 1823. He took leave, June 7, having been commissioned to go to the Congress of 
Panama, and died en route at Cartagena, July 24, 1826. 



DOCUMENT 119: MAY 27, 1823 I93 

by the separation of these States from Great Britain, and by the practical 
illustration, given in the formation and establishment of our Union, to the 
doctrine that voluntary agreement is the only legitimate source of authority 
among men, and that all just Government is a compact. It was impossible 
that such a system as Spain had established over her colonies should stand 
before the progressive improvement of the understanding in this age, or that 
the light shed upon the whole earth by the results of our Revolution should 
leave in utter darkness the regions immediately adjoining upon ourselves. 
The independence of the Spanish colonies, however, has proceeded from other 
causes, and has been achieved upon principles in many respects different 
from ours. In our Revolution the principle of the social compact was, from 
the beginning, in immediate issue. It originated in a question of right 
between the Government in Europe and the subject in America. Our 
independence was declared in defence of our liberties, and the attempt to 
make the yoke a yoke of oppression was the cause and the justification for 
casting it off. 

The revolution of the Spanish colonies was not caused by the oppression 
under which they had been held, however great it had been. Their inde- 
pendence was first forced upon them by the temporary subjugation of Spain 
herself to a foreign power. They were, by that event, cast upon themselves, 
and compelled to establish Governments of their own. Spain, through all 
the vicissitudes of her own revolutions, has clung to the desperate hope of 
retaining or reclaiming them to her own control, and has waged, to the 
extent of her power, a disastrous war to that intent. In the mind of every 
rational man it has been for years apparent that Spain can never succeed to 
recover her dominion where it has been abjured, nor is it probable that she 
can long retain the small remnant of her authority yet acknowledged in some 
spots of the South American continent, and in the islands of Cuba and 
Porto Rico.^ 

The political course of the United States, from the first dawning of South 
American independence, has been such as was prescribed by their relative 
duties to all the parties. Being on terms of peace and amity with Spain 
through all the changes of her own Government, they have considered the 
struggles of the colonies for independence as a case of civil war, to which 
their national obligations prescribed to them to remain neutral. Their 
policy, their interest, and their feelings, all concurred to favor the cause of 
the colonies; and the principles upon which the right of independence has 
been maintained by the South American patriots have been approved, not 
only as identical with those upon which our own independence was asserted 
and achieved, but as involving the whole theory of Government on the 
emphatically American foundation of the sovereignty of the people and the 
unalienable rights of man. To a cause reposing upon this basis the people 
of this country never could be indifferent, and their sympathies have accord- 



194 PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

ingly been, with great unanimity and constancy, enlisted in its favor. The 
sentiments of the Government of the United States have been in perfect 
harmony with those of their people, and while forbearing, as their duties of 
neutrality prescribed, from every measure which could justly be construed 
as hostile to Spain, they have exercised all the moral influence which they 
possessed to countenance and promote the cause of independence. So long 
as a contest of arms, with a rational or even remote prospect of eventual 
success, was maintained by Spain, the United States could not recognise the 
independence of the colonies as existing de facto without trespassing on their 
duties to Spain by assuming as decided that which was precisely the question 
of the war. In the history of South American independence there are two 
periods, clearly distinguishable from each other: the first, that of its origin, 
when it was rather a war of independence against France than against Spain; 
and the second, from the restoration of Ferdinand VII, in 1814. Since that 
period the territories now constituting the Republic of Colombia have been 
the only theatre upon which Spain has been able to maintain the conflict 
offensively, with even a probable color of ultimate success. But when, in 
1815, she made her greatest efifort, in the expedition from Cadiz, commanded 
by Morillo, Mexico, Peru, and Chile were yet under her authority; and had 
she succeeded in reducing the coast of Terra Firma and New Granada, the 
provinces of La Plata, divided among themselves, and weakened by the 
Portuguese occupation of Montevideo, would probably not have held out 
against her long. This, at least, was the calculation of her policy; and from 
the geographical position of those countries, which may be termed the heart 
of South America, the conclusion might well be drawn that if the power of 
Spain could not be firmly reseated there, it must be, on her part, a fruitless 
struggle to maintain her supremacy in any part of the American continent. 
The expedition of Morillo, on its first arrival, was attended with signal suc- 
cess. Carthagena was taken, the whole coast of Terra Firma was occupied, 
and New Granada was entirely subdued. A remnant of Patriots in Vene- 
zuela, with their leader, Bolivar, returning from expulsion, revived the cause 
of independence; and after the campaign of 1819, in which they reconquered 
the whole of New Granada, the demonstration became complete, that every 
effort of Spain to recover the South American continent must thenceforward 
be a desperate waste of her own resources, and that the truest friendship of 
other nations to her would consist in making her sensible that her own 
interest would be best consulted by the acknowledgment of that independ- 
ence which she could no longer effectually dispute. 

To this conclusion the Government of the United States had at an earlier 
period arrived. But from that emergency, the President has considered the 
question of recognition, both in a moral and political view, as merely a 
question of the proper time. While Spain could entertain a reasonable hope 
of maintaining the war and of recovering her authority, the acknowledgment 



DOCUMENT 119: MAY 2/, 1 823 1 96 

of the colonies as independent States would have been a wrong to her; but 
she had no right, upon the strength of this principle, to maintain the preten- 
sion after she was manifestly disabled from maintaining the contest, and, 
by unreasonably withholding her acknowledgment, to deprive the Inde- 
pendents of their right to demand the acknowledgment of others. To fix 
upon the precise time when the duty to respect the prior sovereign right of 
Spain should cease, and that of yielding to the claim of acknowledgment 
would commence, was a subject of great delicacy, and, to the President, of 
constant and anxious solicitude. It naturally became, in the first instance, 
a proper subject of consultation with other powers having relations of 
interest to themselves with the newly opened countries as well as influence 
in the general affairs of Europe. In August, 1818, a formal proposal was 
made to the British Government for a concerted and contemporary recogni- 
tion of the independence of Buenos Ayres, then the only one of the South 
American States which, having declared independence, had no Spanish force 
contending against it within its borders; and where it therefore most un- 
equivocally existed in fact. The British Government declined accepting the 
proposal themselves, without, however, expressing any disapprobation of it; 
without discussing it as a question of principle, and without assigning any 
reason for the refusal, other than that it did not then suit with their policy. 
It became a subject of consideration at the deliberations of the Congress of 
Aix-la-Chapelle, in October, 1818. There is reason to believe that it dis- 
concerted projects which were there entertained of engaging the European 
Alliance in actual operations against the South Americans, as it is well 
known that a plan for their joint mediation between Spain and her colonies, 
for restoring them to her authority, was actually matured and finally failed 
at that place, only by the refusal of Great Britain to accede to the condition 
of employing/orce eventually against the South Americans for its accomplish- 
ment. Some dissatisfaction was manifested by several members of the 
Congress at Aix-la-Chapelle at this avowal on the part of the United States 
of their readiness to recognize the independence of Buenos Ayres. 

The reconquest, in the campaign of 18 19, of New Granada to the Patriot 
cause was immediately followed by the formation of the Republic of Colom- 
bia, consisting of three great divisions of the preceding Spanish Government: 
Venezuela, Cundinamarca, and Quito. It was soon succeeded by the dis- 
solution of the Spanish authority in Mexico; by the revolution in Spain 
itself; and by the military operations which resulted in the declaration of 
independence in Peru. In November, 1820, was concluded the armistice 
between the Generals Morillo and Bolivar, together with a subsequent 
treaty, stipulating that, in case of the renewal of the war, the parties would 
abstain from all hostilities and practices not consistent with the modern law 
of nations and the humane maxims of civilization. In February, 1821, the 
partial independence of Mexico was proclaimed at Yguala; and in August 



196 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

of the same year was recognized by the Spanish Viceroy and Captain General 
O'Donoju, at Cordova. 

The formation of the Republic of Colombia, by the fundamental law of the 
17th of December, 1819, was notified to this Government by its agent, the 
late Don Manuel Torres, on the 20th of February, 1821, with a request that 
it might be recognized by the Government of the United States, and a 
proposal for the negotiation of treaties of commerce and na.vigation, founded 
upon the bases of reciprocal utility and perfect equality, as the most efficacious 
means of strengthening and increasing the relations of amity between the 
two Republics. 

The request and proposal were renewed in a letter from Mr. Torres, of the 
30th of November, 1821, and again repeated on the 2d of January, 1822. In 
the interval since the first demand, the General Congress of the new Republic 
had assembled, and formed a constitution, founded upon the principles of 
popular representation, and divided into legislative, executive, and judicial 
authorities. The Government under this constitution had been organized 
and was in full operation; while, during the same period, the principal 
remnant of the Spanish force had been destroyed by the battle of Carabobo, 
and its last fragments were confined to the two places of Porto Cabello and 
Panama. 

Under these circumstances, a resolution of the House of Representatives 
of the United States, on the 30th of January, 1822, requested of the President 
to lay before the House the communications from the agents of the United 
States with the Governments south of the United States which had declared 
their independence, and those from the agents of such Governments here 
with the Secretary of State, tending to show the political condition of their 
Governments and the state of the war between them and Spain. In trans- 
mitting to the House the papers called for by this resolution, the President, 
by his message of the 8th of March, 1822, declared his own persuasion that 
the time had arrived when, in strict conformity to the law of nations and 
in the fulfilment of the duties of equal and impartial justice to all parties, 
the acknowledgment of the independence declared by the Spanish American 
colonies could no longer be withheld. Both Houses of Congress having 
almost unanimously concurred with these views of the President, an appro- 
priation was made by law (4th of May, 1822,) for such missions to the inde- 
pendent nations on the American continent as the President should deem 
proper. 

On the day after the President's message of the 8th of March, the Spanish 
minister, Anduaga, addressed to this Department a remonstrance against the 
measure which it recommended, and a solemn protest against the recognition 
of the Governments mentioned of the insurgent Spanish provinces of Amer- 
ica. He was answered on the 6th of April, by a letter recapitulating the 
circumstances under which the Government of the United States had 



DOCUMENT 119: MAY 27, I823 I97 

"yielded to an obligation of duty of the highest order, by recognizing as 
independent States nations which, after deliberately asserting their right to 
that character, had maintained and established it against all the resistance 
which had been or could be brought to oppose it." On the 24th of April he 
gave information that the Spanish Government had disavowed the treaty 
of the 24th of August, 1821, between the Captain General O'Donoju 
and Colonel Iturbide, and had denied the authority of the former to con- 
clude it. 

On the 1 2th of February, 1822, the Spanish Extraordinary Cortes adopted 
the report of a committee proposing the appointment of Commissioners to 
proceed to South America to negotiate with the revolutionary Patriots 
concerning the relations to be established thereafter in regard to their con- 
nexion with Spain. They declared, at the same time, all treaties made with 
them before that time by Spanish commanders, implying any acknowledg- 
ment of their independence, null and void, as not having been authorized 
by the Cortes; and on the next day they passed three resolutions, the first 
annulling expressly the treaty between O'Donoju and Iturbide. 

The second, "That the Spanish Government, by a declaration to all others 
with which it has friendly relations, make known to them that the Spanish 
nation will regard, at any epoch, as a violation of the treaties, the recognition, 
either partial or absolute, of the independence of the Spanish provinces of 
Ultramer, so long as the dissensions which exist between some of them and 
the Metropolis are not terminated, with whatever else may serve to convince 
foreign Governments that Spain has not yet renounced any of the rights 
belonging to it in those countries." 

The third resolution recommended to the Government to take all necessary 
measures, and to apply to the Cortes for the needed resources to preserve 
and recover the authority of Spain in the ultramarine provinces. 

These measures of the Cortes were not known to the President of the 
United States when he sent to Congress his message of the 8th of March; 
but information of them was received while the bill making an appropriation 
for the missions was before Congress, and on the 25th of April a resolution 
of the Senate requested of the President any information he might have, 
proper to be disclosed, from our minister at Madrid, or from the Spanish 
minister resident in this country, concerning the views of Spain relative to 
the recognition of the independence of the South American colonies and of 
the dictamen of the Spanish Cortes. In answer to this resolution, the letter 
from Mr. Anduaga, protesting against the recognition, and one from Mr. 
Forsyth, inclosing a translation of the dictamen, were transmitted to the 
Senate, which, with all these documents before them, gave their concurrent 
sanction, with that of the House of Representatives, to the passage of the 
bill of appropriation. 

This review of the proceedings of the Government of the United States in 



198 PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

relation to the independence of Spanish America has been taken to show the 
consistency of the principles by which they were uniformly dictated, and 
that they have been always eminently friendly to the new Republics, and 
disinterested. While Spain maintained a doubtful contest with arms to 
recover her dominion it was regarded as a civil war. When that contest 
became so manifestly desperate that Spanish Viceroys, Governors, and Cap- 
tain Generals themselves, concluded treaties with the insurgents, virtually 
acknowledging their independence, the United States frankly and unre- 
servedly recognized the fact, without making their acknowledgment the 
price of any favor to themselves, and although at the hazard of incurring the 
displeasure of Spain. In this measure they have taken the lead of the 
whole civilized world; for, although the Portuguese Brazilian Government 
had, a few months before, recognized the revolutionary Government of 
Buenos Ayres, it was at a moment when a projected declaration of their own 
independence made the question substantially their own cause, and it was 
presented as an equivalent for a reciprocal recognition of their own much 
more questionable right to the eastern shore of La Plata. 

On the 17th day of June, 1822, Mr. Manuel Torres was received by the 
President of the United States as the charge d'affaires from the Republic of 
Colombia, and the immediate consequence of our recognition was the ad- 
mission of the vessels of the South American nations, under their own colors, 
into the ports of the principal maritime nations of Europe. 

The European alliance of Emperors and Kings have assumed, as the 
foundation of human society, the doctrine of unalienable allegiance. Our 
doctrine is founded upon the principle of unalienable right. The European 
allies, therefore, have viewed the cause of the South Americans as rebellion 
against their lawful sovereign. We have considered it as the assertion of 
natural right. They have invariably shown their disapprobation of the 
revolution, and their wishes for the restoration of the Spanish power. We 
have as constantly favored the standard of independence and of America. 
In contrasting the principles and the motives of the European powers, as 
manifested in their policy towards South America, with those of the United 
States, it has not been my intention to boast of our superior purity, or to 
lay a claim of merit to any extraordinary favor from South America in 
return. Disinterestedness must be its own reward; but in the establishment 
of our future political and commercial intercourse with the new Republics 
it will be necessary to recur often to the principles in which it originated; 
they will serve to mark the boundaries of the rights which we may justly 
claim in our future relations with them, and to counteract the efforts which 
it cannot be doubted European negotiators will continue to make in the 
furtherance of their monarchical and monopolizing contemplations. 

Upon a territory by one-half more extensive than the whole inhabited 
part of the United States, with a population of less than four millions of 



DOCUMENT 119: MAY 27, I823 I99 

souls, the Republic of Colombia has undertaken to establish a single, and 
not a confederated Government. 

Whether this attempt will be found practicable in execution may be sus- 
ceptible of doubt; but in the new organization of society upon this hemi- 
sphere, even unsuccessful experiments lead to results by which the science 
of Government is advanced and the happiness of man is promoted. The 
Republic of Colombia has a constitution deliberately formed and adopted 
upon principles entirely republican, with an elective Legislature in two 
branches, a distribution of the powers of Government, with the exception of 
the federative character, almost identical with our own, and articles declara- 
tory of the natural rights of the citizen to personal security, property, and 
reputation, and of the inviolable liberty of the press. With such a constitu- 
tion, in such a country, the modifications which experience may prove to be 
necessary for rendering the political institutions most effectually competent 
to the ends of civil Government, will make their own way by peaceable and 
gradual conquests of public opinion. If a single Government should be 
found inadequate to secure and protect the rights of the people living under 
it, a federation of Republics may, without diflficulty, be substituted in its 
place. Practical effect having once been given to the principle that lawful 
government is a compact and not a grant, the pretences for resorting to 
force for effecting political revolutions disappear. The subordination of the 
military to the civil power is the only principle yet remaining to be estab- 
lished in Colombia to insure the liberties of the future generations as well 
as those of the present age; and that subordination, although not directly 
guarantied by their present constitution, is altogether conformable to its 
spirit. 

In the letter of February 20, 1821, from the late Mr. Torres, demanding 
the recognition of the Republic of Colombia, it has been observed that the 
additional proposal was made of negotiating "treaties of navigation and com- 
merce, founded upon the bases of reciprocal utility and perfect equality, as 
the most efficacious means of strengthening and increasing the relations of 
amity between the two Republics." 

In compliance with this proposal, among the documents furnished you, 
for proceeding upon the mission to which you have been appointed, of 
minister plenipotentiary to the Republic of Colombia, is a full power which 
will authorize you to negotiate with any plenipotentiary or plenipotentiaries 
of that Government, duly provided with like powers, such a treaty. The 
President wishes, however, that every step in such negotiation should be 
taken with full deliberation. The treaty, if concluded, must, as you are 
aware, be reserved subject to ratification here, with the advice and consent 
of the Senate, by the constitutional majority of two-thirds, as by the consti- 
tution of Colombia (article 120) their treaties, to be valid, must receive the 
consent and approbation of their Congress. 



200 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

Our commercial relations with the Colombian territory are of so recent 
origin, and have depended so much upon the revolutionary condition of that 
country, under which they have arisen, that our knowledge of their state 
and character is very imperfect, although we are certain that they are alto- 
gether different from those which may be expected to arise from permanent 
interests, when the independence of the Republic shall be universally recog- 
nized, and a free trade shall be opened to its inhabitants with all parts of the 
world. The only important point now to be settled, as the radical principle 
of all our future commercial intercourse, is the basis proposed by Mr. 
Torres, of reciprocal utility and perfect equality. As the necessary conse- 
quence of which, you will claim that, without waiting for the conclusion of a 
treaty, the commerce and navigation of the United States, in the ports of 
the Colombian Republic, should be received on the footing of equality with 
the most favored nation. It is hoped, indeed, that on your arrival at the 
place of your destination you will find the principle already settled, assur- 
ances to that effect having been given by the Minister of Foreign Relations 
to Mr. Todd. . . . 

The spirit of the Colombian constitution is explicitly that of entire and 
unqualified independence, and the sentiments expressed by Dr. Gual to Mr. 
Todd have been altogether conformable to it. He has declared that the 
intention of the Government is to treat all foreign nations upon the footing 
of equal favor and of perfect reciprocity. This is all that the United States 
will require, and this, so far as their interests are concerned, they have a 
right to exact. 

It had been, in the first instance, proposed by Mr. Torres that the treaty 
of commerce and navigation should be negotiated here, and he informed me 
that a minister would be appointed with powers and instructions sufficient 
for concluding it at this place. Dr. Gual has informed Mr. Todd that the 
views of the Colombian Government have since undergone a change; and 
although they have appointed Mr. Salazar as Envoy Extraordinary and 
Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, and in March last he was 
under instructions to proceed forthwith upon his mission to this country, 
they were, nevertheless, exceedingly desirous that the treaty should be 
negotiated there. 

The President deems it of no material importance to the United States 
whether the treaty shall be negotiated at Washington or at Bogota; but the 
proposal having first been made for concluding it here, it was natural to 
inquire what it was that produced the change in the wishes of the Colombian 
Government with regard to the seat of the negotiation. Dr. Gual intimated 
confidentially to Mr. Todd that it had proceeded from two causes : one, the 
desire to establish a precedent which might prevail upon the great European 
Governments to negotiate likewise with the Republic at its own capital, and 
thereby hasten them to the recognition of Colombian independence; and the 



DOCUMENT 119: MAY 27, 1823 201 

Other, a jealousy of their own negotiators in Europe, who were apt to become 
themselves entangled with European intrigues, and to involve the Republic 
in unsuitable and perplexing engagements. With regard to the second of 
these causes, whatever occasion may have been given to the distrust of 
their own agents which it avows, it could have no application to their trans- 
actions with the United States. By assuming the principles of independence, 
equality, and reciprocity as the foundations of all our negotiations, we dis- 
card all the incentives and all the opportunities for double dealing, over- 
reaching, and corrupt caballing. We shall ask nothing which the Colombian 
Republic can have any interest to deny. We shall offer nothing for which 
she may be unwilling to yield the fair equivalent. To the other reason, 
however, the President the more readily accedes, because, perceiving its full 
force, it gives him an opportunity of manifesting in action the friendly dis- 
position of the United States towards the Republic, and their readiness to 
promote by all proper means the recognition of its independence by the 
great European powers. 

In the negotiation of all commercial treaties there is undoubtedly an 
advantage, at least of convenience, enjoyed by the party which treats at 
home; and this advantage acquires greater importance when, as is now the 
case with both parties, the treaty, to become valid, must obtain the assent 
of legislative assemblies. This advantage, in the ordinary course of things, 
accrues to the party to whom the proposal of negotiation is first made. In- 
dependent, then, of all questions of precedence, and without resorting to the 
example of the first treaties negotiated by the United States, both of which 
considerations have been mentioned by Mr. Todd to Dr. Gual, the United 
States might insist upon having the negotiation concluded here, not only as 
the first proposal of it was made to them, but because the proposal itself 
was that it should be concluded here. The President, however, is well 
aware of the stimulus which a treaty negotiated, and even a negotiation 
known to be in progress at Bogota, will apply to the attention of European 
interests, and has no doubt that it will press them to the recognition more 
powerfully than they have been urged by the example, or are likely to be by 
the exhortations of the North American Government. You are accordingly 
furnished, by his direction, with the full power necessary for the conclusion 
of the treaty. . . . 

Among the usual objects of negotiation in treaties of commerce and 
navigation are the liberty of conscience and of religious worship. Articles 
to this effect have been seldom admitted in Roman Catholic countries, and 
are even interdicted by the present constitution of Spain. The South 
American Republics have been too much under the influence of the same 
intolerant spirit; but the Colombian constitution is honorably distinguished 
by exemption from it. The loth and i ith articles of our treaty with Prussia, 
or articles to the like effect, may be proposed for insertion in the projected 



202 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

treaty; and after setting the first example in South America of a constitution 
unsullied by prohibitions of religious liberty, Colombia will deserve new 
honors in the veneration of present and future ages by giving her positive 
sanction to the freedom of conscience, and by stipulating it in her first 
treaty with these United States. It is, in truth, an essential part of the 
system of American independence. Civil, political, commercial, and re- 
ligious liberty, are but various modifications of one great principle, founded 
in the unalienable rights of human nature, and before the universal applica- 
tion of which the colonial domination of Europe over the American hemi- 
sphere has fallen, and is crumbling into dust. Civil liberty can be estab- 
lished on no foundation of human reason which will not at the same time 
demonstrate the right to religious freedom. The tendency of the spirit of the 
age is so strong towards religious liberty that we cannot doubt it will soon 
banish from the constitutions of the southern Republics of this hemisphere 
all those intolerant religious establishments with which they have hitherto 
been trammelled. Religious and military coercion will be alike discarded 
from all the institutions framed for the protection of human rights in civil 
society of independent nations, and the freedom of opinion and of faith will 
be guarantied by the same sanction as the rights to personal liberty and 
security. To promote this event by all the moral influence which we can 
exercise, whether of example, of friendly counsel, or of persuasion, is among 
the duties which devolve upon us in the formation of our future relations 
with our southern neighbors; and in the intercourse which is hereafter to 
subsist between us, as their citizens who may visit or transiently reside with 
us will enjoy the benefit of religious freedom in its utmost latitude, we are 
bound to claim for our countrymen who may occasionally dwell for a time 
with them the reciprocal exercise of the same natural rights. 

In the present imperfect state of our information with regard to the exist- 
ing commerce between the two countries, and the uncertainty as to what its 
future and permanent relations may be, it would be useless to enter into any 
further detail of articles which it may be proper to propose for the intended 
treaty of commerce. The Republic of Colombia, if permanently organized 
to embrace the whole territory which it now claims, and blessed with a Gov- 
ernment effectually protective of the rights of its people, is undoubtedly 
destined to become hereafter one of the mightiest nations of the earth. Its 
central position upon the surface of the globe, directly communicating at 
once with the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, north and south, with the Carib- 
bean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, brings it into relations of proximity with 
every other part of the world; while the number and variety of its ports on 
every sea by which it is surrounded, the magnitude and extent of its naviga- 
ble rivers, three of which, the Amazon, the Orinoco, and the Magdalena, 
are among the largest in the world, intersecting with numberless tributary 
streams, and in every direction the continent of South America, and furnish- 



DOCUMENT 119: MAY 27, 1823 203 

ing the means of water communication from every point of its circumference 
to every spot upon its surface; the fertiUty of its soil ; the general healthiness 
and beauty of its climate; the profusion with which it breeds and bears the 
precious and the useful metals, present a combination of elements un- 
paralleled in the location of the human race, and relieve, at least from all 
charge of enthusiasm, the sentiment expressed by the late Mr. Torres, that 
this republic appeared to have been destined by the Author of Nature "as 
the centre and the empire of the human family." 

But it is to man, placed in a Paradise like this, that Nature, with her 
loudest, voice exclaims: "God to thee has done his part — do thine;" and the 
part of man, so gifted and so endowed, is to enjoy and to communicate the 
bounties of Providence so largely lavished upon him, and not to fancy him- 
self destined to the empire of the human family. If the natural advantages 
bestowed upon the Colombian territory were to be improved by its inhabit- 
ants only for purposes of empire, that which nature has bestowed as a bless- 
ing upon them would, in its consequences prove a curse inflicted upon the 
rest of mankind. The territory of Colombia contains, at this moment, little 
more than three million and a half of souls. Were it only as populous as its 
late parent country, Spain, it w^ould bear one hundred millions; and if as 
populous as France, nearly three times that number. At the most rapid rate 
of increase which human population has ever attained, even a doubling 
every quarter of a century, the Republic of Colombia, for two hundred years 
to come, may devote all her exertions to the improvement of her internal 
means of subsistence for the multiplying myriads of her people, without 
seeking support from the extension of her empire beyond her own borders. 
Let her look to commerce and navigation, and not to empire, as her means of 
communication with the rest of the human family. These are the principles 
upon which our confederated Republic is founded, and they are those upon 
which we hope our sisters of the southern continent will ultimately perceive 
it to be for their own welfare, no less than for that of the world, that they 
should found themselves. 

The materials of commercial intercourse between the United States and the 
Colombian Republic are at present not many. Our exports to it hitherto 
have been confined to flour, rice, salted provisions, lumber, a few manufac- 
tured articles, warlike stores, and arms, and some East India productions, for 
which we have received cocoa, coffee, indigo, hides, copper, and specie. 
Much of this trade has originated and has continued only by the war in 
which that country has been engaged, and will cease with it. As producing 
and navigating nations, the United States and Colombia will be rather com- 
petitors and rivals than customers to each other. But as navigators and 
manufacturers, we are already so far advanced in a career upon which they 
are yet to enter, that we may, for many years after the conclusion of the war, 
maintain with them a commercial intercourse, highly beneficial to both 



204 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

parties, as carriers to and for them of numerous articles of manufacture and 
of foreign produce. It is the nature of commerce, when unobstructed by 
interference of authority, to find its own channels and to make its own way. 
Let us only not undertake to regulate that which will best regulate itself. 

In the conferences between Dr. Gual and Mr. Todd, the Colombian Min- 
ister of Foreign Affairs has spoken of treaties, almost treaties of alliance, 
concluded by the Colombian plenipotentiary, Mosquera, with the Govern- 
ments of Peru and of Chile, and which he expected would also be shortly 
concluded with Buenos Ayres. The purport of these treaties was mentioned 
by Dr. Gual only in general terms, but he said that Mr. Salazar would be 
authorized to communicate copies of them to this Government, and eventu- 
ally to propose that the United States should accede to them, or take a part 
in the system which it was their purpose to originate. In January last, 
about the same time when Dr. Gual was making this confidential communi- 
cation to Mr. Todd, we learn, by despatches from Mr. Forbes, that Mr. 
Mosquera was at Buenos Ayres, and had made his proposals of negotiation 
to the Government there. Mr. Forbes speaks doubtfully of his prospects of 
success. The general intention, but not the specific purport of the treaties 
had also been communicated by Mr. Mosquera to Mr. Forbes. But the 
Colombian minister had been more confidential with Mr. Prevost, who, in a 
despatch dated the 14th of December last, states that he had obtained a 
sight of the original treaty. He describes it in a preceding letter as a treaty 
of alliance, offensive and defensive, containing "a pledge from each of the 
contracting parties to send deputies to the Isthmus, within a limited time, 
for the double purpose of effecting an union in support of a representative 
system throughout, and of preventing partial associations with any one of 
the powers of Europe. An agent (he adds) has gone to Mexico with the 
same object; and it is in contemplation, as soon as the several treaties shall 
be ratified by Colombia, to invite a representation from the United States 
to preside at a meeting intended to assimilate the politics of the south with 
those of the north;" and in a letter of 14th December, after having seen the 
treaty, he says: " It embraces in the most express terms the several objects 
to which I alluded, together with a stipulation not to enter into partial 
arrangements with Spain, and not to listen to overtures on her part unac- 
companied with an acknowledgment of the independence of all." 

Mr. Prevost, as well as Dr. Gual, entertains higher expectations of the 
success of this negotiation at Buenos Ayres than Mr. Forbes. Mr. Prevost 
thinks that it must succeed, although the Government of Buenos Ayres is 
secretly averse to it, and implicated in secret intrigues with the Portuguese 
Government and General Le Cor for a confederacy of a different character. 
Dr. Gual told Mr. Todd that proposals had been made by the Portuguese 
Government at Lisbon, to Colombia, for a general confederacy of all America, 
North and South, together with the Constitutional Governments of Portugal 



DOCUMENT 119: MAY 27, 1823 205 

and Spain, as a counterpoise to the European Holy Alliance; but he said they 
had been rejected on account of their European aspect. Loose and indefinite 
projects of the same kind have been presented by the present Portuguese 
Government to us, but they have never been considered even as objects of 
deHberation. Brazil has declared its own independence of Portugal, and 
constituted itself into an Empire, with an Emperor at its head. General 
Le Cor has lost the real command of his own army, and has been, or cannot 
fail shortly to be, compelled to embark, with all his European Portuguese 
troops, for Lisbon. Then will come the question between Buenos Ay res and 
Brazil, for Montevideo and the Oriental Band of La Plata, and then will soon 
be seen that the Republican Hemisphere will endure neither Emperor nor 
King upon its shores. 

Of this mighty movement in human affairs, mightier far than that of the 
downfall of the Roman Empire, the United States may continue to be, as 
they have been hitherto, the tranquil but deeply attentive spectators. They 
may, also, in the various vicissitudes by which it must be followed, be called 
to assume a more active and leading part in its progress. Floating, un- 
digested purposes of this great American confederation have been for some 
time fermenting in the imaginations of many speculative statesmen; nor is 
the idea to be disdainfully rejected because its magnitude may appal the 
understanding of politicians accustomed to the more minute but more com- 
plicated machinery of a contracted political standard. 

So far as the proposed Colombian confederacy has for its object a com- 
bined system of total and unqualified independence of Europe, to the exclu- 
sion of all partial compositions of any one of the emancipated colonies with 
Spain, it will have the entire approbation and good wishes of the United 
States, but will require no special agency of theirs to carry it into effect. 

So far as its purposes may be to concert a general system of popular repre- 
sentation for the government of the several independent States which are 
floating from the wreck of the Spanish power in America, the United States 
will still cheer it with their approbation, and speed with their good wishes 
its success. 

And so far as its objects may be to accomplish a meeting, at which the 
United States should preside, to assimilate the politics of the south with 
those of the north, a more particular and definite view of the end proposed 
by this design, and of the means by which it is to be effected, will be neces- 
sary to enable us to determine upon our concurrence with it. An agent 
from France, named Molien, and Mr. Lorich, the Consul General of Sweden 
in the L^nited States, arrived at Bogota in January last. Dr. Gual told Mr. 
Todd that Molien had no letters or avowed powers, though he had intimated 
he was there by authority; that he was considered as a spy on behalf of a 
faction in France. "He had insinuated that the United States were in- 
fluenced by interested motives in recognizing the new Governments in South 



206 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

America; that our influence in Europe had been impaired by a measure which 
was considered premature; and that he supposed we were now endeavoring to 
procure exclusive advantages for having been the first to recognize." And 
Dr. Gual added, that Mr. MoHen undertook "to give him some advice as 
to our views" — Mr. Lorich came with authority. 

The political systems of Europe are all founded upon partial rights and 
exclusive privileges. The colonial system had no other basis; and having no 
generous or liberal views of their own, it is not surprising that they should 
entertain and disseminate suspicions of the disinterestedness of others. The 
French Government sends an agent to Bogota, without daring to trust him 
with a credential or an avowed power; and he executes his commission by 
misrepresenting our motives, upon suspicions which those to whom he makes 
the misrepresentation know to be unfounded, and by testifying to those who 
were benefitted by our recognition that we had made it by the sacrifice of 
some part of our influence in Europe. It must be admitted that the address 
of the agent in the performance of his trust was upon a level with the candor 
and frankness in which it originated. While the French Government pur- 
sues its new career in the affairs of the World, with Such designs, it is to be 
hoped the development of them will be committed to Such performers. 

Mr. Lorich's mission was simply to obtain exclusive privileges for Sweden, 
which as she had nothing of exclusive benefit to oft'er in return, were of 
course rejected. 

We are well aware that our recognition of South American independence 
was not palatable to the taste of any of the European Governments. But we 
felt that it was a subject upon which it became us to take the lead, and as 
we knew that the European Governments, sooner or later, must and would, 
whether with good or with bad grace, follow our example, we determined that 
both Europe and America should have the benefit of it. We hope, also, and 
this is the only return which we ask, and have a right to ask, from the South 
Americans for our forwardness in their favor, that Europe will be compelled 
to follow the whole of our example — that is, to recognize without condition 
and without equivalent. We claim no exclusive privilege for ourselves. We 
trust to the sense of justice, as well as to the interest of the South Americans, 
the denial of all exclusive privileges to others. The Colombian Government, 
at various times, have manifested a desire that the United States should 
take some further and active part in obtaining the recognition of their inde- 
pendence by the European Governments, and particularly by Great Britain. 
This has been done even before it was solicited. All the ministers of the 
United States in Europe have, for many years, been instructed to promote 
the cause, by any means consistent with propriety and adapted to their end, 
at the respective places of their residence. The formal proposal of a con- 
certed recognition was made to Great Britain before the Congress of Aix-la- 
Chapelle. At the request of Mr. Torres, on his dying bed, and signified to 



DOCUMENT 119: MAY 27, 1823 207 

US after his decease, Mr. Rush was instructed to give every aid in his power, 
without offence to the British Government, to obtain the admission of Mr. 
Ravenga; of which instruction we have recent assurances from Mr. Rush 
that he is constantly mindful. Our own recognition undoubtedly opened all 
the ports of Europe to the Colombian flag, and your mission to Colombia, as 
well as those to Buenos Ayres and Chile, cannot fail to stimulate the cabinets 
of maritime Europe, if not by the liberal motives which influenced us, at 
least by selfish impulses, to a direct, simple, and unconditional recognition. 
We shall pursue this policy steadily through all the changes to be foreseen 
of European affairs. There is every reason to believe that the preponderat- 
ing tendency of the war in Spain will be to promote the universal recognition 
of all the South American Governments; and, at all events, our course will 
be to promote it by whatever influence we may possess. 

Several other subjects have been mentioned in the conferences between 
Dr. Gual and Mr. Todd, upon which it is proper to apprize you of the Presi- 
dent's views. 

1st. On the 24 January Dr. Gual stated that the Government of Peru 
entertained the desire of communicating with the United States, and had 
requested it to be made through that of Colombia. He afterwards men- 
tioned certain complaints of the Peruvian Government against Captain 
Stewart of the Franklin, as having given convoy to our vessels, conveying 
Military stores to the ports of the Royalists, and committed other unfriendly 
acts on their Shores — and he promised to send Mr Todd the papers relating 
to these complaints. But on the 28th of February he stated that the papers 
would be transmitted to Mr. Salazar, to be by him laid before this Govern- 
ment. 

The President will readily receive any communication from the Govern- 
ment of Peru which it may be disposed to make through the medium of that 
of Colombia. With regard to the complaint against Captain Stewart we 
shall wait for the promised communication from Mr. Salazar to take such 
measures as the occasion may render proper, and they will be adapted as well 
to the friendly disposition which we feel towards the Peruvian Patriots as to 
the justice due to a very distinguished and meritorious officer in the service 
of our own Country. Thus far it may be proper in the present stage of this 
concern for you to notice the subject on 3^our earliest intercourse with the 
Colombian Government. But it may also be advisable for you to suggest 
the enquiry how far the Colombian Government in assuming the office of a 
complainant for that of Peru, proposes to make itself responsible for the 
complaints which we in our turn have to urge, and have hitherto ineffectually 
urged upon the justice of the Peruvian Patriots themselves! You will state 
that more than three years since, Lord Cochrane issued a proclamation of 
Blockade as extensive and as outrageous in its violation of the Laws of Na- 
tions as that of General Morales of September 1821. That the property of 



208 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

many Citizens of the United States has been seized under colour of this 
Blockade, and of other acts equally unjustifiable of which the United States 
are still to seek the reparation. That the Colombian Minister if received as 
the Representative of Peru, to complain, will we trust also be commissioned 
as the representative of Peru to indemnify: and if we are to answer to Co- 
lombia for complaints from Peru, Colombia will hold herself responsible to us 
for the demands we have upon Peru. To the justice of this principle we have 
no doubt the Colombian Government will readily accede, and if unwilling to 
assume the obligation of making satisfaction to us for Peruvian wrongs will 
excuse us from discussing with them any question of Peruvian Rights. . . . 

Our intercourse with the Republic of Colombia, and with the territories of 
which it is composed, is of recent origin, formed while their own condition 
was altogether revolutionary and continually changing its aspect. Our 
information concerning them is imperfect, and among the most important 
objects of your mission will be that of adding to its stores; of exploring the 
untrodden ground, and of collecting and transmitting to us the knowledge 
by which the friendly relations between the two countries may be extended 
and harmonized to promote the welfare of both, with due regard to the peace 
and good will of the whole family of civilized man. It is highly important 
that the first foundations of the permanent future intercourse between the 
two countries should be laid in principles benevolent and liberal in them- 
selves, congenial to the spirit of our institutions, and consistent with the 
duties of universal philanthropy. 

In all your consultations with the Government to which you will be ac- 
credited, bearing upon its political relations with this Union, your unvarying 
standard will be the spirit of independence and of freedom, as equality of 
rights and favors will be that of its commercial relations. The emancipation 
of the South American continent opens to the whole race of man prospects of 
futurity, in which this Union will be called, in the discharge of its duties to 
itself and to unnumbered ages of posterity, to take a conspicuous and leading 
part. It involves all that is precious in hope, and all that is desirable in 
existence, to the countless millions of our fellow creatures which, in the 
progressive revolution of time, this hemisphere is destined to rear and to 
maintain. 

That the fabric of our social connexions with our southern neighbors may 
rise, in the lapse of years, with a grandeur and harmony of proportion cor- 
responding with the magnificence of the means placed by Providence in our 
power, and in that of our descendants, its foundations must be laid in princi- 
ples of politics and of morals new and distasteful to the thrones and domina- 
tions of the elder world, but co-extensive with the surface of the globe, and 
lasting as the changes of time. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



DOCUMENT 121 : NOVEMBER I5, 1823 209 

120 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Jose Maria Salazar (Philadelphia) , 
Colombian Minister to the United States^ 

Washington, Augusts, 1S23. 

Sir: I have the honour of enclosing herewith, a copy of a Circular Letter 
from the Secretary of the Treasury, to the Collectors of the customs, issued 
by direction of the President of the United States, and containing the regu- 
lations prescribed by this Government in the cases of public and private 
armed vessels, with their prizes, of the Belligerent parties, in the war between 
Spain and France, and in that between Spain and the Independent Govern- 
ments established in Spanish America, which, by stress of weather, pursuit 
of enemies, or some other urgent necessity, may be forced to enter the ports 
and harbours of the United States. 

These regulations have already been in force for several years in respect to 
the contest between Spain and her ex-colonies. They are marked, at once, 
by respect for the rights of the Belligerent parties, for the engagements of the 
United States, and for the neutrality which they have felt it their duty to 
observe between the parties. 

I pray you. Sir, to accept [etc.]. 



121 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Baron de Tuyll, Russian Minister 

to the United States ^ 

Washington, November 15, 1823. 

Sir: I have had the honour of receiving your note of the 4/16 instant,^ 
communicating the information that His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor 
of all the Russias has determined, in no case, to receive any agent whatsoever, 
either from the Government of the Republic of Colombia, or from any other 
of the Governments de facto, which owe their existence to the events of which. 
the new world has, for some years past, been the theatre. 

Influenced by the considerations which prescribe it as a duty to independ- 
ent nations to entertain with each other the friendly relations which senti- 
ments of humanity and their mutual interests require, and satisfied that those 
of South America had become irrevocably independent of Spain, the Gov- 
ernment of the United States thought it proper to acknowledge their inde- 
pendence, in March, 1822, by an Act which was then published to the world. 

•MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 149. Jose Maria Salazar, envoy extraordinary 
and minister plenipotentiary of Colombia in the United States: Presented credentials, 
June 10, 1823. Functions ceased, June 17, 1828. Left about July 18, 1829. 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 158. Baron de Tuyll, envoy extraordinary and 
minister plenipotentiary of Russia to the United States: Presented credentials to the Secre- 
tary of State, April 19, 1823. Took leave, March 14, 1826. 

* See below, pt. .xii, doc. 1019. 



210 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

This Government has, since, interchanged Ministers with the Republic of 
Colombia, has appointed Ministers of the same rank, to the Governments of 
Mexico, Buenos Ayres and Chili, has received a Minister and other Diplo- 
matic Agents from Mexico, and preserved, in other respects, the same inter- 
course with those new States that they have with other powers. 

By a recurrence to the Message of the President, a copy of which is en- 
closed, you will find that this measure was adopted on great consideration; 
that the attention of this Government had been called to the contest between 
the Parent Country and the Colonies, from an early period, that it had 
marked the course of events with impartiality, and had become perfectly 
satisfied that Spain could not re-establish her authority over them: that, in 
fact, the new States were completely independent. 

From the information contained in your note, it appears that the political 
principles maintained by his Imperial Majesty and his x^llies, have not led 
the Imperial Government to the same result. I am instructed by the Presi- 
dent to assure you that the Government of the United States, respecting 
in others the Independence of the Sovereign Authority which they exercise 
themselves, receive the communication of His Imperial Majesty's determi- 
nation on that subject, in the spirit of candour, frankness, and of amicable 
disposition, with which it is made. 

I avail myself of the occasion [etc.]. 



122 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Richard Rush, United States 

Minister to Great Britain"^ 

Washington, November zg, 182J. 

Sir: Your despatches 2 numbered 323-325-326-330-331-332-334 and 
336 have been received; containing the reports of your conferences, and 
copies of your confidential correspondence, with Mr. Secretary Canning, in 
relation to certain proposals made by him, tending to a concert of principles, 
with reference to the affairs of South America, between the United States 
and Great Britain, and a combined manifestation of them to the world. 

The whole subject has received the deliberate consideration of the Presi- 
dent, under a deep impression of its genial importance, a full conviction of 
the high interests and sacred principles involved in it, and an anxious solici- 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 120. 

"^ See below, pt. vni, docs. 788, 791, 794, 796, 797, 798 and 800, letters from Rush to Adams 
between the dates, August 19 and October 10, 1823. The dispatch bearing the official 
number 332 is not printed in this collection siacc it deals with another subject, the only 
pertinent portion being a statement that during a recent conference with Canning their 
"attention was so exclusively engrossed by the South-American subject" that the other 
was not mentioned. 



DOCUMENT 122: NOVEMBER 29, 1823 211 

tude for the cultivation of that harmony of opinions and unity of object, 
between the British and American Nations, upon which so much of the peace 
and happiness and Hberty of the world obviously depend. 

I am directed to express to you the President's entire approbation of the 
course which you have pursued in referring to your Government the pro- 
posals contained in Mr. Canning's private and confidential letter to you, of 
20 August; and I am now to signify the determination of the President con- 
cerning them: — a determination which he wishes to be at once candid, 
explicit and conciliatory; and which being formed by refering each of the 
proposals to the single and unvarying standard of right and wrong, as under- 
stood and maintained by us, will present to the British Government the 
whole system of opinions and of purposes of the American Government with 
regard to South America. 

The first of the principles of the British Government, as set forth by Mr. 
Canning, is — 

1. We conceive the recovery of the colonies by Spain, to be hopeless. 

In this we concur. 
The second is — 

2. We conceive the question of the recognition of them, as independent 
States, to be one of time and circumstances. 

We did so conceive it, until with a due regard to all the rights of Spain, and 
with a due sense of our responsibility to the judgment of mankind, and of 
posterity, we had come to the conclusion that the recovery of them by Spain 
was hopeless. Having arrived at that conclusion, we considered that the 
people of these emancipated Colonies, were, of right independent of all other 
nations, and that it was our duty so to acknowledge them. We did so 
acknowledge them, in March, 1822; from which time the recognition has no 
longer been a question to us. We are aware of considerations, just and 
proper in themselves, which might deter Great Britain from fixing upon the 
same time for this recognition, with us; but we wish to press it earnestly 
upon her consideration, whether, after having settled the point that the 
recovery of the colonies by Spain was hopeless, and after maintaining, at the 
cannon's mouth, commercial relations with them, incompatible with their 
colonial condition, while subject to Spain, the moral obligation does not 
necessarily result of recognizing them as independent States. 

"3. W'^c are however, by no means disposed to throw any impediment 

in the way of an arrangement between them and the mother country 

by amiable negociation." 

Nor are we — Recognizing them as independent States, we acknowledge 

them as possessing full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, 

establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent 

States may of right do.— Among these, an arrangement between them and 

Spain, by amicable negociation is one which far from being' disposed to im- 



212 PART I: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

pede, we would earnestly desire, and, by every proper means in our power, 
endeavour to promote, provided it should be founded on the basis of inde- 
pendence. But recognizing them as independent States, we do, and shall 
justly and necessarily, claim in our relations political and commercial, to be 
placed upon a footing of equal favour, with the most favoured nation. 

"4. We aim not at the possession of any portion of them ourselves" 
"5. We would not see any portion of them transferred to any other 
Power, with indifference." 

In both these positions we concur, — and we add — 

That we could not see with indifference, any attempt by one or more 
powers of Europe to restore those new states to the crown of Spain, or to 
deprive them, in any manner, whatever of the freedom and independence 
which they have acquired. 

With a view to this object, it is indispensable that the British Government 
take like ground with that which is now held by the United States, and that 
it recognize the independence of the new Governments. That measure 
being taken, we may then harmonize in all the arrangements and acts which 
may be necessary for its accomplishment. It is upon this ground alone, as 
we conceive that a firm and determined stand could now be jointly taken by 
Great-Britain and the United States, in behalf of the Independence of Na- 
tions: and never, in the history of mankind, was there a period when a stand 
so taken and maintained, would exhibit to present and future ages, a more 
glorious example of power, animated by justice, and devoted to the ends of 
beneficence. On this basis this Government is willing to move in concert 
with Great-Britain for the purposes specified. 

We believe, however, that for the most effectual accomplishment of the 
object, common to both Governments, a perfect understanding with regard 
to it being established between them, it will be most advisable that they 
should act separately, each making such representations to the Continental 
European Allies, or either of them, as circumstances may render proper, and 
mutually communicating to each other, the purport of such representations, 
and all information respecting the measures and purposes of the Allies, the 
knowledge of which may enlighten the councils of Great Britain and of the 
United States, in the course of policy, and towards the honourable end, 
which will be common to them both. Should an emergency occur, in which 
a joint manifestation of opinion, by the two Governments may tend to 
influence the Councils of the European Allies, either in the aspect of per- 
suasion or of admonition, you will make it known to us without delay, and 
we shall according to the principles of our Government, and in the forms 
prescribed by our Constitution, cheerfully join in any act by which we may 
contribute to support the cause of human freedom, and the Independence of 
the South American Nations. 

I am [etc.]. 



DOCUMENT 124: NOVEMBER 30, 1 823 213 

123 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Heman Allen, appointed United 

States Minister to Chile^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, November 30, 1S23. 

Sir: I have the honour of enclosing herewith sundry papers, relating to 
complaints by citizens of the United States, against the officers, civil and 
military, of the Governments of Chili and Peru. 

The character of these complaints, the evidence by which they are sup- 
ported, and the proceedings hitherto, concerning them, you will collect from 
the papers themselves; and upon your arrival in Chili, you will take such 
measures for renewing and maintaining the claim of reparation and indem- 
nity, which the justice of each case may authorize and require. 

It is highly important, with regard to the two essential objects of our 
intercourse with Chili and Peru, the best understanding should be main- 
tained between the Diplomatic and Naval Officers of the United States, 
stationed in those regions. Those objects are the establishment of the most 
friendly relations with the people of those countries, under their new Repub- 
lican Institutions; the manifestation of a warm and cordial sentiment of 
favour and sympathy to the cause in which they are engaged, so far as that 
sentiment can be indulged, consistently with our neutrality, and the firm 
and fearless support of the rights, and lawful interests of the United States 
and of their citizens. To this end, a copy of the instructions from the Navy 
Department to Captain Hull, is herewith furnished you, and it is the Presi- 
dent's hope and trust, that there will be, between you and him, and every 
other officer of the squadron in the Pacific, the most cordial concert and 
co-operation for the benefit of the public service. 

I have the honour [etc.]. 



124 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Richard Rush, United States 

Minister to Great Britain^ 

Washington, November jo, 1823. 

Sir: The instructions contained in my letter, dated yesterday, were given 
with a view to enable you to return an explicit answer to the proposals con- 
tained in Mr. Secretary Canning's confidential letter to you of the 20th of 

'MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 123. Heman Allen, of Vermont: 
Commissioned minister plenipotentiary to Chile, January 27, 1823. Took leave, July 31, 
1827. 

* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 125. 



214 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

August, last. The object of this despatch is to communicate to you, the 
views of the President with regard to a more general consideration of the 
affairs of South America, to serve for your government, and to be used 
according to your discretion in any further intercourse which you may have 
with the British Cabinet on this subject. 

In reviewing the proposals of Mr. Canning, and the discussion of them in 
your correspondence and conferences, the President has, with great satis- 
faction, adverted to them in the light of an overture from the British Govern- 
ment towards a confidential concert of opinions and of operations between 
us and them, with reference to the Countries heretofore subject to Spain in 
this Hemisphere. In the exposition of the principles of the British Govern- 
ment, as expressed in the five positions of Mr. Canning's letter, we perceive 
nothing with which we cannot cheerfully concur, with the exception of that 
which still considers the recognition of the Independence of the Southern 
nations as a question of time and circumstances. Confident as we are, that 
the time is at hand when Great Britain, to preserve her own consistency, 
must come to this acknowledgement, we are aware that she may, perhaps, 
be desirous of reserving to herself the whole merit of it, with the South 
Americans, and that she may finally yield more readily, to the decisive act 
of recognition, when appearing to be spontaneous, than when urged upon 
her by any foreign suggestion. The point itself has been so earnestly pressed 
in your correspondence and conferences with Mr. Canning, and is so explic- 
itly stated in my despatch of yesterday, as indispensable, in our view, 
towards a co-operation of the two Governments, upon this important inter- 
est, that the President does not think it necessary that you should dwell 
upon it with much solicitude. The objections exhibited by Mr. Canning 
against the measure, as stated particularly in your despatches, are so feeble, 
and your answers to them so conclusive that, after the distinct avowal of 
our sentiments, it may, perhaps, best conduce to the ultimate, entire coin- 
cidence of purposes between the two Governments, to leave the choice of 
time for the recognition which Mr. Canning has reserved, to the exclusive 
consideration of the British Ministers themselves. 

We receive the proposals themselves, and all that has hitherto passed 
concerning them, according to the request of Mr. Canning, as confidential. 
As a first advance of that character which has ever been made by the British 
Government, in relation to the foreign affairs between the two nations, we 
would meet it, with cordiality, and with the true spirit of confidence, which 
is candour. The observations of Mr. Canning in reply to your remark that 
the policy of the United States has hitherto been entirely distinct and sepa- 
rate from all interference in the complications of European politics, have 
great weight, and the considerations involved in them had already been 
subjects of much deliberation among ourselves. As a member of the Euro- 
pean community. Great Britain has relations with all the other powers of 



DOCUMENT 124: NOVEMBER 30, 1 823 215 

Europe, which the United States have not, and with which it is their unal- 
tered determination not to interfere. But American affairs, whether of the 
Northern or of the Southern Continent, can, henceforth, not be excluded 
from the interference of the United States. All questions of policy relating 
to them, have a bearing so direct upon the rights and interests of the United 
States themselves, that they cannot be left at the disposal of European 
Powers, animated and directed, exclusively, by European principles and 
interests. Aware of the deep importance of United ends and Councils, with 
those of Great Britain in this emergency, we see no possible basis on which 
that harmonious concert of measures can be founded, other than the general 
principle of South American Independence. So long as Great Britain with- 
holds the recognition of that, we may, as we certainly do, concur with her 
in the aversion to the transfer to any other power of any of the colonies in 
this Hemisphere, heretofore or yet, belonging to Spain; but the principles 
of that aversion, so far as they are common to both parties, resting only 
upon a casual coincidence of interests, in a national point of view selfish on 
both sides, would be liable to dissolution by every change of phase in the 
aspects of European politics. So that Great Britain, negociating at once 
with the European Alliance, and with us, concerning America, without being 
bound by any permanent community of principle, with us would still be free 
to accommodate her policy to any of those distributions of power, and parti- 
tions of territory which have, for the last half century, been the ultima ratio 
of all European political arrangements; while we, bound to her by engage- 
ments, commensurate only with the momentary community of our separate, 
particular interests, and self-excluded from all negociation with the Euro- 
pean Alliance, should still be liable to see European Sovereigns dispose of 
American interests, w-ithout consultation, either with us, or with any of the 
American nations, over whose destinies they would thus assume an arbitrary 
superintendence and control. 

It was stated to you, by Mr. Canning that, in the event of a proposal for 
a European Congress to determine upon measures relating to South America, 
he should propose that you, as the Representative of the United States, 
should be invited to attend at the same; and that, in the case, either of a 
refusal to give you that invitation, or of your declining to accept it, if given, 
Great Britain would reserve to herself the right of declining also, to attend. 
The President approves your determination not to attend in case the invi- 
tation should be given; and we are not aware of any circumstances under 
which we should deem it expedient that a minister of the United States 
should be authorised to attend at such a Congress, if the invitation to that 
effect should be addressed to this Government itself. We should certainly 
decline attending, unless the South American Governments should also be 
invited to attend by their Representatives, and as the Representatives of 
Independent nations. We would not sanction by our presence any meeting 



2l6 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

of European Potentates to dispose of American Republics. We shall, if 
such meeting should take place, with a view to any result of hostile action, 
solemnly protest against it, and against all the melancholy and calamitous 
consequences which may result from it. We earnestly hope that Great 
Britain will do the same. 

It has been observed that through the whole course of the correspondence, 
and of the conferences between Mr. Canning and you, he did not disclose 
the specific information upon which he apprehended so immediate an inter- 
position of the European Allies, in the affairs of South America, as would 
have warranted or required the measure which he proposed to be taken in 
concert with you, before this Government could be advised of it. And this 
remark has drawn the more attention, upon observing the apparent coolness, 
and comparative indifference with which he treated the subject at your last 
conferences, after the peculiar earnestness and solemnity of his first ad- 
vances. It would have been more satisfactory here, and would have afforded 
more distinct light for deliberation, if the confidence in which his proposals 
originated had at once been entire. This suggestion is now made with a 
view to the future, and to manifest the disposition, on our part, to meet 
and return confidence without reserve. 

The circumstances of Mr, Gallatin's private concerns having induced him 
to decline returning to Europe at this time, and the posture of affairs requir- 
ing, in the opinion of the President, the immediate renewal of negociations 
with France, Mr. James Brown has been appointed to that mission, and is 
expected very shortly to proceed upon it. 

I am [etc.]. 



125 

Message of President James Monroe, at the commencement of the first session 

of the Eighteenth Congress of the United States, communicated to the 

Senate December 2, 1823 ^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, December 2, 1823. 

The ministers who were appointed to the republics of Colombia and 
Buenos Ayres during the last session of Congress proceeded, shortly after- 
wards, to their destinations. Of their arrival there official intelligence has 
not yet been received. The minister appointed to the republic of Chili will 
sail in a few days. An early appointment will also be made to Mexico. 
A minister has been received from Colombia, and the other Governments 
have been informed that ministers, or diplomatic agents of inferior grade, 
^ American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V, 247. 



DOCUMENT 125: DECEMBER 2, 1823 217 

would be received from each accordingly as they might prefer the one or the 
other. . . . 

It was stated at the commencement of the last session that a great ef- 
fort was then making in Spain and Portugal to improve the condition of the 
people of those countries, and that it appeared to be conducted with ex- 
traordinary moderation. It need scarcely be remarked that the result has 
been, so far, very different from what was then anticipated. Of events in 
that quarter of the globe with which we have so much intercourse, and from 
which we derive our origin, we have always been anxious and interested spec- 
tators. The citizens of the United States cherish sentiments the most 
friendly in favor of the liberty and happiness of their fellow-men on that side 
of the Atlantic. In the wars of the European powers in matters relating 
to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our 
policy so to do. It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced 
that we resent injuries or make preparation for our defence. With the move- 
ments in this hemisphere we are, of necessity, more immediately connected, 
and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial ob- 
servers. The political system of the allied powers is essentially different in 
this respect from that of America. This difference proceeds from that which 
exists in their respective Governments. And to the defence of our own, 
which has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and treasure, and ma- 
tured by the wisdom of their most enlightened citizens, and under which we 
have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this whole nation is devoted. We owe it, 
therefore, to candor, and to the amicable relations existing between the 
United States and those powers, to declare that we should consider any at- 
tempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere 
as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or de- 
pendencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not in- 
terfere. But with the Governments who have declared their independence, 
and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration 
and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition 
for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their 
destiny, by any European power, in any other light than as the manifesta- 
tion of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States. In the war 
between these new Governments and Spain we declared our neutrality at the 
time of their recognition, and to this we have adhered and shall continue to 
adhere, provided no change shall occur which, in the judgment of the com- 
petent authorities of this Government, shall make a corresponding change 
on the part of the United States indispensable to their security. 

The late events in Spain and Portugal show that Europe is still unsettled. 
Of this important fact no stronger proof can be adduced than that the allied 
powers should have thought it proper, on any principle satisfactory to them- 
selves, to have interposed, by force, in the internal concerns of Spain. To 



2l8 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

what extent such interposition may be carried, on the same principle, is a 
question in which all independent powers whose Governments differ from 
theirs are interested, even those most remote, and surely none more so than 
the United States. Our policy in regard to Europe, which was adopted at 
an early stage of the wars which have so long agitated that quarter of the 
globe, nevertheless remains the same, which is, not to interfere in the inter- 
nal concerns of any of its powers; to consider the Government deJacLo as the 
legitimate Government for us; to cultivate friendly relations with it, and to 
preserve those relations by a frank, firm, and manly policy, meeting, in all 
instances, the just claims of every power; submitting to injuries from none. 
But in regard to these continents, circumstances are eminently and conspic- 
uously different. It is impossible that the allied powers should extend their 
political system to any portion of either continent without endangering our 
peace and happiness; nor can any one believe that our southern brethren, if 
left to themselves, would adopt it of their own accord. It is equally impos- 
sible, therefore, that we should behold such interposition, in any form, with 
indifference. If we look to the comparative strength and resources of Spain 
and those new Governments, and their distance from each other, it must be 
obvious that she can never subdue them. It is still the true policy of the 
United States to leave the parties to themselves, in the hope that other 
powers will pursue the same course. 



126 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to JosS Maria Salazar, Colombian 
Minister to the United States^ 

Washington, December 5, 1823. 

Sir: I have had the honour of receiving your letter of the 6th of Sep- 
tember, with its enclosures and also that of the 4th November, all of which 
have been submitted to the consideration of the President of the United 
States. 

I am instructed to assure you that the disposition of the Government 
of the United States towards all the Republics of the South, remains as amica- 
ble and as earnestly desirous of maintaining with them the most harmoni- 
ous intercourse, as it has been constantly manifested by its public Acts; 
and with none more than with the Republic of Colombia. The instructions 
heretofore given, and those which will hereafter be given to the Commanders 
and officers of the naval forces of the United States, have been, and will be, 
dictated by this spirit, and while directed to the protection of the rights 

1 MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, i6o. The two notes of which the receipt is 
acknowledged are not printed in this collection. 



DOCUMENT 127: DECEMBER 12, 1823 2I9 

and lawful interests of the United States and their citizens, have been, and 
will be, marked by the determination to treat with inviolate respect the 
rights, national and individual of the Southern Republics and their citizens. 

A complaint against the Commander of the United States Ship Franklin 
for the transactions to which the enclosures in your letter of 6th September 
relate, has been transmitted directly through an Agent of the United States 
at Lima,' the answer to which will be directly given. 

In receiving from you, the Representative of the Republic of Colombia, 
complaints against an officer of the United States, alledged by the Govern- 
ment of Peru, I am directed before entering into any discussion of them, to 
enquire whether the Government of Colombia holds itself responsible to the 
United States and their Citizens, for complaints which they have to prefer 
against the officers of Peru, — and for the indemnities and reparations to 
which they are justly entitled for the same. 

I avail myself of this occasion, to observe that I shall be happy to com- 
municate verbally with you, upon this and other subjects, whenever it may 
suit your convenience; and to offer you the renewed assurance [etc.]. 



127 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to the Minister of State and Foreign 

Relations of Peru^ 

Washington, December 12, 1823. 

Sir: I have had the honour of receiving your Excellency's letter of the 
29th of March last, with its enclosures, complaining of "the introduction of 
two thousand muskets, arms and amunitions to the Spaniards in the Port of 
Arica, by the Ship Canton, under the protection of the Guns of the United 
States Ship Franklin, commanded by Commodore Charles Stewart." 

And I have also received from Mr John B. Prevost, a copy of your letter 
to him of the i8th of May last, containing a repetition of the same com- 
plaint, and founding upon the same an express demand that the Government 
of the United States should remove Commodore Charles Stewart from the 
command of the Naval forces of this Republic, in the South Sea. 

These documents have received from the President of the United States, 
the most deliberate consideration; and I am directed by him to assure your 
Excellency that, as he has nothing more at heart than to maintain with the 
Government of Peru the most friendly Relations and intercourse, he would 
not fail to mark with strong disapprobation any act of an officer in the serv- 

' See below, pt. i, doc. 127, Adams to Minister of Foreign Relations of Peru, December 
12, 1823. 

* MS. Notesto Foreign Legations, III, 162. The two communications acknowledged herein 
are not printed in this collection. Their contents are sufficiently revealed in this reply. 



220 PART I: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

ice of the United States, incompatible with their neutrahty and unfriendly 
to the Peruvian Nation, or the cause which they sustain. 

The instructions given to Captain Stewart, and to all the Commanders of 
the Naval forces of the United States, in the Pacific, have been dictated by 
the Spirit of the most cordial friendship towards the Independent Nations 
of the South, and of sympathy to the Patriotic cause. The distinguished 
merit of that officer whose services to the United States have been at once 
a title to the highest consideration of his fellow citizens, and a pledge of 
good conduct under every circumstance that might arise countenances the 
hope and expectation that he could not be unmindful of those instructions, 
or of the well known dispositions of this Government, and that the charges 
against him before the Government of Peru have been raised upon erro- 
neous impressions. 

This hope and expectation are strengthened by the decisive proof, fur- 
nished in documents which have been transmitted to this country, that no 
muskets, arms or ammunitions were introduced orlandedat Aricaby,or from, 
the Ship Canton, the vessel which, at that place, received the protection of 
Captain Stewart. This fact is so fully established and was so well known to 
Mr. Prevost, that had the correspondence enclosed in your letter of the 29th 
March, been communicated to him, it is not doubted that he would have 
satisfied your Excellency that the charge against Captain Stewart in rela- 
tion to the Ship Canton was altogether without foundation. 

It is also my duty to observe to your Excellency that in the letter of 
Captain Prunier, Commander of the Brig Belgrano, to Captain Stewart, 
dated nth July, 1822, the only ground alledged of the intention of Captain 
Prunier to take the Ship Canton, then under the Protection of Captain 
Stewart, was the suspicion that the Canton had broken a blockade, declared 
by the Government of Peru, from the 15th to the 22d degree of South lati- 
tude — ^which the Government of the United States cannot, consistently 
with the principles which it has invariably maintained, acknowledge as a 
lawful blockade — and no part of which the naval officers of the United States 
were, conformably to the Laws of Nations, bound to observe. 

With the reiterated assurance of the deep interest which the United States 
take in the welfare, prosperity and Independence of the people of Peru, 
and of the determination of this Government to maintain with yours the 
most friendly and harmonious intercourse, I pray your Excellency to ac- 
cept [etc.]. 



DOCUMENT 129: JANUARY 12, 1 824 221 

128 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to James Brown, appointed United 

States Minister to France^ 

[extract] 

Washington, December 2j, 1823. 

The Government of the United States is not desirous of being admitted 
as a party to the counsels of the European Alliance; nor is it their inten- 
tion to interfere in the arrangement of the affairs of Europe. But their in- 
terest in those of America, cannot escape the observation of any part of 
Europe, nor their own attention. The sentiments expressed in the message 
of the President of the United States, to Congress, at the commencement of 
their present session, will serve as guides to your conduct on this subject. 
It is hoped that the European Continental Alliance will ultimately per- 
ceive the inexpediency of their interference in the contest between Spain and 
South America; but, while manifesting, on proper occasions, the dispositions 
of this Country concerning it, you will avoid any measure by which the 
Government might be prematurely implicated in it, and observing with 
vigilant attention, the progress of the Allies, with regard to their general 
policy, and all its applications, will report as frequently as may be conven- 
ient, the result of your observations. 

I have the honour [etc.]. 



129 

President James Monroe to the United States House of Representatives^ 

Washington, January 12, 1824. 

To THE House of Representatives of the United States : 

In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of December 24, 
requesting the President of the United States to lay before the House such 
information as he may possess, and which may be disclosed without injury 
to the public good, relative to the determination of any sovereign, or combi- 
nation of sovereigns, to assist Spain in the subjugation of her late colonies on 
the American continent, and whether any Government of Europe is disposed 
or determined to oppose any aid or assistance which such sovereign or com- 
bination of sovereigns may afford to Spain for the subjugation of her late 
colonies above mentioned, I have to state that I possess no information on 
that subject not known to Congress which can be disclosed without injury 
to the public good. 

'MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 151. James Brown, of Louisiana: 
Commissioned envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to France, December 9, 
1823. Took leave, June 28, 1829. 

* American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V, 263. 



222 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

130 

JohrfQiiincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Joaquin Barrozo Pereira, Portu- 
guese Charge d' Affaires in the United States^ 

Washington, June p, 1824. 

Sir: Your letter of the 31st Ultimo has been laid before the President of 
the United States, by whose direction I have the honour of informing you 
that the reception of Mr. Rebello in the character of Charge d'Afifaires from 
the Emperor of Brazil, was, in no wise intended as an act unfriendly to the 
Government or people of Portugal. It was the recognition of a Government 
existing in fact, and ruling in a Country which his Majesty the King of 
Portugal had several years since, proclaimed as an Independent Kingdom, 
and thereby absolved from all dependence upon Portugal. 

The United States have never encouraged and supported the dififerences 
between the European Powers and their possessions in America, nor have 
they availed themselves of any such differences to take by force to them- 
selves, any part of those possessions. In recognizing as independent States, 
some of the Countries which had been Spanish Colonies, they have done no 
more than has been done by His Majesty the King of Portugal, himself. 
The recognition of the Independence of those States was, in no wise, induced 
by any existing differences between the United States and Spain ; nor was it 
deemed, in any manner incompatible with her sovereign rights. Such was 
the opinion of the Portuguese Government itself, with reference to the 
Ex-Colonies of Spain; and such, by an application of the same principles, 
must it ultimately be, as is presumed, with regard to its own relations with 
Brazil. 

The negotiations between the United States and the Portuguese Govern- 
ment at Lisbon, having for their object the commercial relations between 
the United States and Portugal, cannot be unfavourably affected by the 
recognition of the Independence of Brazil. Nor is it expected that the 
Allies of His Majesty, the King of Portugal, any more than the United States, 
will pretend to the right which they explicitly disclaim, or to exercise the 
power of fixing, irrevocably the term when the legitimate rights of Sover- 
eigns should be abandoned without appeal, or asserted in defiance of the fact. 

As little are the United States disposed to interfere in the affairs either of 
Portugal or Brazil, in such sort as to prescribe the rights or duties of the 
presumptive heir to the throne of Portugal, or to scrutinize the franchise of 
those respective Nations. Faithful to the principle that every Independent 
people have the right to form, and to organize their Government as to them 
shall seem best, in the pursuit of their own happiness, and without encroach- 
ing upon the rights of others, they have recognized the Brazilian Govern- 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 173. Joaquin Barrozo Pereira, consul general 
of Portugal to the United States: Acted as charge d'affaires ad interim from about June 25 
to about November 12, 1822, and from January 9, 1824, to October 2, 1829. The note 
acknowledged is not printed in this collection. Its nature is clear from this reply. 



DOCUMENT 131: JULY — , 1 824 223 

ment, as existing in fact, and exercising all the authorities essential to the 
maintenance of the usual relations between the United States and other 
foreign Independent Powers. 

I have the honour of enclosing herwith, a Packet just received from 
England, addressed to you; and tender you the assurance [etc.]. 



131 

John Qiiincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Richard C. Anderson, United 

States Minister to Colombia ^ 

Washington, July — , 1824. 

Sir: Your despatches to No. 10. inclusive, dated the first of April last, 
have been received — Those which relate to the political condition of the 
Republic of Colombia, and to the incidents connected therewith, which have 
occurred since your arrival at Bogota, have attracted particularly the 
attention of the President. 

The papers, transmitted with your despatch No. 7. of 19. January,'^ are 
important as disclosing, rather by implication, than distinctly, the objects 
of France in the Mission of Count Lerndos, Mr. Mollien, and others who 
visited the South American Countries and Mexico, at the close of the 
year 1822 and in 1823. That they were missions of enquiry to ascertain 
what might be done with those Countries, and that the purposes in con- 
templation were of a character altogether inadmissible. 

The communications received at a later date from the British Commis- 
sioners, approach more to the nature of proposals to which nations really 
Independent may listen; but notwithstanding the intimation of Mr. Hamil- 
ton respecting an alliance between Great Britain and the Republic of Colom- 
bia, it is now certain that the British Commissioners were not authorized to 
perform any act which would have imported the formal acknowledgment by 
Great Britain of the Independence of the Colombian Republic. 

The papers presented in March last to the British Parliament, of the then 
recent communications between the British Government and France and 
Spain, in relation to South America, have shewn the views at that time both 
of Great Britain and of France — From them it appears — 

1. That both those Powers considered the Spanish Supremacy in South 
America, as irretrievably lost. 

2. That they were both willing that by amicable negotiation, Spain should 
have greater advantages secured to her than any other Country, even in- 
cluding themselves. 

» MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 199. The day of the month is omitted 
in the record copy. 
* See below, pt. vi, doc. 641. 



224 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

3. That France was very desirous, and Britain not unwilling, to concert 
measures for the establishment of Monarchical or Aristocratical forms of 
Government in those Countries. 

It further appears that Spain, after issuing a grave decree opening the 
Ports of South America to the commerce of other Nations, solicited the inter- 
position of her august allies to bring back her revolted subjects in America 
to their allegiance — a proposal which Great Britain did not approve, and 
France did not think proper to accede to — But France was willing to meet 
the other allies in conference upon the expediency of giving instructions of 
Monarchy and Aristocracy, as well as of special favours for Spain to the 
South Americans. 

The determinations of the other allies have not yet been made known, 
but the danger of the interference of any of them by force in the affairs of 
South America may be considered as past — How long the British acknowl- 
edgment of the Independence of the Republic of Colombia will yet be 
delayed, depends more upon the internal state of the Republic itself, than 
upon any external circumstances. 

We have very earnestly urged Great Britain to this recognition. But we 
trust that whenever it shall take place, the Government of the Colombian 
Republic will listen to no persuasions, either for any grant of special favours 
to Spain, or to any political lectures upon the superior excellence of Mon- 
archical or Aristocratic Governments, over that of the existing Constitution 
of the Republic of Colombia — We can scarcely credit that either Great 
Britain, or any other European Power, will presume to give advice upon this 
subject to a Republic having an established Constitution; and if they should, 
we wish you distinctly, though informally, to say to the Colombian Minister 
of Foreign Affairs, that we expect the very first intimation of such advice 
will be met by an explicit assertion of the principle, that it is out of the circle 
of admissible diplomatic communications, admitting no answer, and not 
even susceptible of being received. 

I am [etc.]. 



132 

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, to Jose Maria Salazar, Colombian 
Minister to the United States^ 

Washington, August 6, 1824. 

Sir: I have laid before the President of the United States, your confiden- 
tial Note of the 2d. ultimo,^ and it has received his deliberate & full consid- 
eration. 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 184. 
'^See below, pt. vi, doc. 645. 



DOCUMENT 132: AUGUST 6, 1 824 225 

He is disposed to hope, that some misunderstanding may have been oc- 
casioned by the language attributed to Mr. Chasserieux at Caraccas — Being 
unwilHng to believe that France or any other European Power, will make its 
acknowledgment of the political Independence of the Republic of Colombia, 
dependent in any manner upon the form of Government, which the People of 
Colombia, are alone competent to determine for themselves, and which they 
have accordingly determined — Were it possible to believe that France should 
found upon such a principle her conduct towards the Republic of Colombia, 
the President learns with satisfaction from your Note, that which his respect 
for your Nation would not otherwise permit him to doubt, that they will 
maintain at every hazard their real Independence and accept no recognition 
of it upon conditions incompatible with it — Such a recognition, carrying self 
contradiction and absurdity upon its face. 

From various recent Acts and Declarations of the French Government, 
and of Officers acting under it, France appears explicitly to disclaim any 
design of aiding Spain by any application of Force, for the recovery of her 
antient dominion in this Hemisphere — The absurdity of such an attempt 
becoming from day to day more manifest, leads to the conclusion that France 
having already assumed this principle, will by the course of time and events 
be constantly more confirmed in her adhesion to it — Should even the pro- 
posals of her Agents, in the first instance present the establishment of a 
Monarchical or Aristocratic Government, as the price of her recognition, and 
should such proposals be met, by a firm and unequivocal refusal, the only 
consequence to be expected will be the postponement of the recognition, and 
that, as may be readily foreseen only for a short time — With regard to the 
language of certain political Journals, at Paris in the months of October and 
November last, it has been since amply ascertained, that the sentiments 
avowed by them were not such as the French Government has since been 
willing to support. 

With respect to the question "in what manner the Government of the 
United States intends to resist on its part any interference of the Holy al- 
liance for the purpose of subjugating the new Republics or interfering in 
their political forms" you understand that by the constitution of the United 
States, the ultimate decision of this question belongs to the Legislative 
Department of the Government. The probability of such interference of the 
Holy alliance, having in a great measure disappeared, the occasion for recur- 
ring to the dispositions of the Legislature did not occur during the late Ses- 
sion of Congress. 

The Sentiments of the President remain as they were expressed in his last 
annual message to Congress — Should the crisis which appeared then to be 
approaching, and which gave rise to the remarks then made, hereafter recur, 
he will be ready to give them eflfect by recommending to the Legislature the 
adoption of the measures exclusively of their resort, and by which the princi- 



226 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

pies asserted by him, would with the concurrence if given, be on the' part of 
the United States, efificaciously manintained. 

As however the occasion for this resort could arise only by a deliberate and 
concerted system of the allied Powers to exercise force against the freedom 
and Independence of your Republic; so it is obvious that the United States 
could not undertake resistance to them by force of Arms, without a previous 
understanding with those European Powers, whose Interests and whose 
principles would secure from them an active and efficient co-operation in the 
cause — This there is no reason to doubt could be obtained, but it could only 
be effected by a negotiation preliminary to that of any alliance between the 
United States and the Colombian Republic, or in any event coeval with it. 

The employment of Spanish force in America, while Spain is occupied by a 
French army and its Government under the influence of France and her 
allies, does not constitute a case upon which the United States would feel 
themselves justified in departing from the neutrality which they have hith- 
erto observed — The force itself being necessarily small ; and in no wise chang- 
ing the nature of the contest in the American Hemisphere. 

I pray you, Sir, to accept [etc.]. 



133 

Daniel Brent, Secretary of State ad interim, to Hilario de Rivas y Salmon, 
Spanish Charge d' Affaires in the United States^ 

Washington, September 22, 1824. 

Sir: I was directed by the Secretary of State, before his late departure 
from this city, to furnish the Attorney of the United States for the Eastern 
district of Pennsylvania with an extract from your Letter to him of the i6th.2 
of August, and, at the same time, to request that officer to adopt such meas- 
ures as might be deemed advisable for the preservation of the neutrality of 
the United States and the vindication of their Laws, in reference to certain 
armaments which you state to have been already prepared, and to others 
which are now preparing, in the Port of Philadelphia, for the use and on ac- 
count of some of the South American states in the contest in which they are 
engaged with Spain; and I lost no time in complying with the Secretary's 
Instructions. 

I have the honour now. Sir, to transmit to you a copy of Mr. Ingersole, the 
District Attorney's Letter, in answer to the one which I addressed to him in 
pursuance of the Secretary's instructions, including a short correspondence 

1 MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 191. Francisco Hilario Rivas y Salmon, secre- 
tary of legation of Spain in the United States: Acted as charge d'affaires ad interim from 
September 30 to October 31, 1821, and from March 15, 1823, to July 25, 1827. 

^ Not printed in this collection. Its purport is clear from this reply. The enclosed men- 
tioned below is not with the record copy. 



DOCUMENT 134: DECEMBER 7, 1 824 227 

between himself and the Collector of the Customs at Philadelphia, which I 
flatter myself, will prove abundantly satisfactory as to the armaments in 
question, already sent forth from the Port of Philadelphia, and entirely 
remove any apprehensions which you may entertain, with regard to those 
which are in a train of preparation at the same port. 
I pray you, Sir, to accept [etc.]. 



134 

Message of President James Monroe, at the commencement of the second session 
oj the Eighteenth Congress of the United States '■ 

[extracts] 

Washington, December 7, 1824. 

The great and extraordinary changes which have happened in the Gov- 
ernments of Spain and Portugal within the last two years, without seriously 
affecting the friendly relations which, under all of them, have been main- 
tained with those powers by the United States, have been obstacles to the 
adjustment of the particular subjects of discussion which have arisen with 
each. A resolution of the Senate, adopted at their last session, called for 
information as to the effect produced upon our relations with Spain by the 
recognition, on the part of the United States, of the independent South 
American Governments. The papers containing that information are 
now communicated to Congress. 

A charge d'affaires has been received from the independent Government 
of Brazil. That country heretofore a colonial possession of Portugal, had, 
some years since, been proclaimed by the sovereign of Portugal himself 
an independent kingdom. Since his return to Lisbon a revolution in Brazil 
has established a new Government there, with an Imperial title, at the 
head of which is placed the prince, in whom the Regency had been vested 
by the King at the time of his departure. There is reason to expect that, 
by amicable negotiation, the independence of Brazil will ere long be recog- 
nized by Portugal herself. 

With the remaining powers of Europe, with those on the coast of Bar- 
bary, and with all the new South American States, our relations are of a 
friendly character. We have ministers plenipotentiary residing with the 
Republics of Colombia and Chili, and have received ministers of the same 
rank from Colombia, Guatemala, Buenos Ayres, and Mexico. Our com- 
mercial relations with all those States are mutually beneficial and increas- 
ing. With the Republic of Colombia a treaty of commerce has been formed, 
* American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V, 354. 



228 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

of which a copy is received, and the original daily expected. A negotiation 
for a hke treaty would have been commenced with Buenos Ayres, had it 
not been prevented by the indisposition and lamented decease of Mr. Rod- 
ney, our minister there, and to whose memory the most respectful attention 
has been shown by the Government of that Republic. . . . 

With respect to the contest to which our neighbors are a party, it is evi- 
dent that Spain, as a power, is scarcely felt in it. These new States had 
completely achieved their independence before it was acknowledged by the 
United States, and they have since maintained it with little foreign pres- 
sure. The disturbances which have appeared in certain portions of that 
vast territory have proceeded from internal causes, which had their origin 
in their former Governments, and have not yet been thoroughly removed. 
It is manifest that these causes are daily losing their effect, and that these 
new States are settling down under Governments elective and representa- 
tive in every branch similar to our own. In this course we ardently wish 
them to persevere, under a firm conviction that it will promote their hap- 
piness. In this their career, however, we have not interfered, believing 
that every people have a right to institute for themselves the Government 
which, in their judgment, may suit them best. Our example is before 
them, of the good effect of which, being our neighbors, they are competent 
judges, and to their judgment we leave it, in the expectation that other 
powers will pursue the same policy. The deep interest which we take in 
their independence, which we have acknowledged, and in their enjoyment 
of all the rights incident thereto, especially in the very important one of 
instituting their own Governments, has been declared and is known to the 
world. Separated, as we are, from Europe by the great Atlantic Ocean, 
we can have no concern in the wars of the European Governments, nor in 
the causes which produce them. The balance of power between them, 
into which ever scale it may turn, in its various vibrations, cannot affect 
us. It is the interest of the United States to preserve the most friendly 
relations with every power, and on conditions fair, equal, and applicable 
to all. But in regard to our neighbors our situation is different. It is 
impossible for the European Governments to interfere in their concerns, 
especially in those alluded to, which are vital, without affecting us; indeed, 
the motive which might induce such interference in the present state of the 
war between the parties, if a war it may be called, would appear to be 
equally applicable to us. It is gratifying to know that some of the powers 
with whom we enjoy a very friendly intercourse, and to whom these views 
have been communicated, have appeared to acquiesce in them. 



DOCUMENT 135: MARCH 26, 1825 229 

135 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Joel R. Poinsett, appointed United States 

Minister to Mexico ^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, March 26, 1825. 

Sir: The mission on which the President wishes you, with all practicable 
despatch, to depart, would, at any time, be highly important, but possesses, 
at this moment, a peculiar interest. Every where, on this continent, but 
on the side of the United Mexican States, the United States are touched 
by the Colonial Territories of some Sovereign Authority, fixed in Europe. 
You are the first Minister actually leaving the United States, to reside 
near a Sovereign Power established and exerted on this continent, whose 
territories are coterminous with our own. You will probably be the first 
Minister received by that Power from any foreign State, except from those 
which have recently sprung out of Spanish America. The United Mexican 
States, whether we regard their present posture, or recall to our recollec- 
tion their ancient history, and fortunes, are entitled to high consideration. 
In point of population, position and resources, they must be allowed to 
rank among the first powers of America. In contemplating the prog- 
ress in them, towards civilization, which the Aborigines had made at the 
Epoch of the Spanish invasion, and the incidents connected with the Span- 
ish conquest which ensued, an irresistible interest is excited, which is not 
surpassed, if it be equalled, by that which is awakened in perusing the 
early history of any other part of America. But what gives, with the 
President, to your Mission, peculiar importance, at this time, is that it 
has, for its principal object, to lay, for the first time, the foundations of 
an intercourse of amity commerce, navigation and neighbourhood, which 
may exert a powerful influence, for a long period upon the prosperity of 
both States. 

In more particularly inviting your attention to the objects which should 
engage it on your mission, I will, in the first place, refer you to the general 
instructions which were given by my predecessor, on the 27th May, 1823, 
to Mr. Anderson, the minister of the United States at Colombia, of which 
a copy is annexed, and which are to be considered as incorporated in these. 
So far as they are applicable alike to the condition of Colombia and of 
Mexico, and shall not be varied in this or subsequent letters, you will view 
them as forming a guide for your conduct. In that letter of the 27th of 
May, the principles which have regulated the course of this Government 
in respect to the contest between Spanish America and Spain, from its 

' MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 225. Henry Clay, of Kentucky: 
Commissioned Secretary of State by President John Quincy Adams, March 7, 1825; re- 
signed, March 3, 1829. 



230 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

origin, are clearly stated, explained and vindicated; and the basis of those 
upon which it is desirable to place the future intercourse between the 
United States and the several Governments which have been established 
in Spanish America, are laid down; — so that, although that Letter was 
intended to furnish instructions for the American Minister deputed to one 
of those Governments only, it should be contemplated as unfolding a sys- 
tem of relations which it is expedient to establish with all of them. 

From that letter, as well as from notorious public facts, it clearly appears 
that the people and the Government of the United States have alike, 
throughout all the stages of the struggle between Spain and her former 
Colonies, cherished the warmest feelings and the strongest sympathies 
towards the latter; that the establishment of their Independence and free- 
dom has been anxiously desired; that the recognition of that Independence 
was made as early as it was possible, consistently with those just consider- 
ations of policy and duty which this Government felt itself bound to enter- 
tain towards both parties; and that, in point of fact, with the exception of 
the act of the Portuguese Brazilian Government, to which it was prompted 
by self interest, and which preceded that of the United States only a few 
months, this Government has been the first to assume the responsibility 
and encounter the hazard of recognizing the Governments which have 
been formed out of Spanish America. If there ever were any ground for 
imputing tardiness to the United States in making that recognition, as it 
respects other parts of what was formerly, Spanish America, there is not 
the slightest pretext for such a suggestion in relation to Mexico. For 
within a little more than a year after its independence was proclaimed, the 
United States hastened to acknowledge it. They have never claimed, and 
do not now claim, any peculiar favour or concession to their commerce or 
navigation, as the consideration of the liberal policy which they have 
observed towards those Governments. But the President does confidently 
expect that the priority of movement on our part which has disconcerted 
plans which the European Allies were contemplating against the inde- 
pendent Governments, and which has no doubt, tended to accelerate 
similar acts of recognition by the European Powers, and especially that of 
Great Britain, will form a powerful motive with our southern neighbours, 
and particularly with Mexico, for denying to the commerce and navigation 
of those European States, any favours or privileges which shall not be 
equally extended to us. . . . 

The victorious termination to which Genl. Bolivar has recently brought 
the war in Peru, liberates the Colombian arms from any further employ- 
ment against the forces of Spain in South America. Those of Mexico have 
no Spanish force to encounter in North America. In this state of the con- 
test, it is to be hoped that Spain, listening to wiser and better councils, 
and at last being made sensible of what all America and Europe have long 



DOCUMENT 135: MARCH 26, 1 825 23I 

since seen, that her dominion on this Continent is lost, will hasten, by a 
formal pacification with the Southern Nations, to put an end to a war 
which she has not the ability any longer to wage. Such a pacific disposi- 
tion, it is presumed, will be cordially met by the Government of the United 
Mexican States, and you will avail yourself of every fit occasion to strengthen 
it by friendly and frank representations of the desire of the President to 
see an honourable close of the war. Nevertheless, peace may not be estab- 
lished, and the pride of Spain may dissuade her from acceding to terms 
which a prudent regard of her actual comparative weakness should render 
acceptable. If the war be indefinitely protracted, to what object will the 
arms of the new Governments be directed? It is not unlikely that they 
may be turned upon the conquest of Cuba and Porto Rico, and that, with 
that view, a combined operation will be concerted between those of Colombia 
and Mexico. The United States cannot remain indifferent to such a move- 
ment. Their commerce, their peace and their safety are too intimately 
connected with the fortunes and fate of the Island of Cuba to allow them 
to behold any change in its condition and political relations without deep 
solicitude. They are not disposed, themselves, to interfere with its present 
actual state; but they could not see, with indifference, any change that 
may be attempted in it. It commands, from its position, the Gulf of 
Mexico, and the valuable commerce of the United States, which must 
necessarily pass near its shores. In the hands of Spain, its ports are open, 
its cannon silent and harmless, and its possession guaranteed by the mutual 
jealousies and interests of the maritime powers of Europe. Under the 
dominion of any one of those powers other than Spain, and especially under 
that of Great Britain, the United States would have just cause of serious 
alarm. Nor could they see that dominion passing either to Mexico or 
Colombia without some apprehensions of the future. Neither of those 
two states has, or is likely shortly to acquire, the naval ability to maintain 
and protect Cuba, if its conquest could be achieved. The United States 
have no desire to aggrandize themselves by the acquisition of Cuba. And 
yet if that Island is to be made a dependence of any one of the American 
States, it is impossible not to allow that the law of its position proclaims 
that it should be attached to the United States. Abounding in those pro- 
ductions to which the soil and climate, both of Mexico and Colombia are 
best adapted, neither of them can want it: whilst, in that view of the sub- 
ject, if the United States were to lend themselves to the suggestions of 
interest, it would, to them, be particularly desirable. If the population of 
Cuba were capable of maintaining, and should make an unprompted decla- 
ration of, its independence, perhaps it would be the real interest of all 
parties that it should possess an independent self Government. And then 
it would be worthy of serious consideration whether the powers of the 
American Continent would not do well to guarantee that independence 



232 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

against all European attacks upon its existence. What the President, how- 
ever, directs you to do is to keep a vigilant attention upon every movement 
towards Cuba, to ascertain the designs of Mexico in regard to it, and to 
put him, early, in full possession of every purpose of the Mexican Govern- 
ment relative to it. And you are authorized, if, in the progress of events 
it should become necessary, to disclose frankly the feelings and the interests 
as here developed, which the people of the United States cherish in respect 
to that Island. . . . 

You will bring to the notice of the Mexican Government the message of 
the late President of the United States to their Congress, on the 2d Decem- 
ber, 1823, asserting certain important principles of inter-continental law, 
in the relations of Europe and America. The first principle asserted in 
that message is, that the American continents are not henceforth to be con- 
sidered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. In 
the maintenance of that principle all the independent Governments of 
America have an interest; but that of the United States has probably the 
least. Whatever foundation may have existed three centuries ago, or even 
at a later period, when all this continent was under European subjection, 
for the establishment of a rule, founded on priority of discovery and occu- 
pation, for apportioning among the powers of Europe parts of this conti- 
nent, none can be now admitted as applicable to its present condition. 
There is no disposition to disturb the colonial possessions, as they may 
now exist, of any of the European powers; but it is against the establish- 
ment of new European colonies upon this continent that the principle is 
directed. The countries in which any such new establishments might be 
attempted are now open to the enterprise and commerce of all Americans. 
And the justice or propriety cannot be recognized, of arbitrarily limiting 
and circumscribing that enterprise and commerce, by the act of voluntarily 
planting a new colony, without the consent of America, under the auspices 
of foreign powers, belonging to another and a distant continent. Europe 
would be indignant at any American attempt to plant a colony on any part 
of her shores, and her justice must perceive, in the rule contended for, only 
perfect reciprocity. 

The other principle asserted in the message is, that whilst we do not 
desire to interfere in Europe with the political system of the allied powers, 
we should regard as dangerous to our peace and safety any attempt, on their 
part, to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere. The polit- 
ical systems of the two continents are essentially different. Each has an 
exclusive right to judge for itself what is best suited to its own condition 
and most likely to promote its happiness; but neither has a right to enforce 
upon the other the establishment of its peculiar system. This principle 
was declared in the face of the world, at a moment when there was reason 
to apprehend that the allied powers were entertaining designs inimical to 



DOCUMENT 136: APRIL I3, 1825 233 

the freedom if not the independence of the new Governments. There is 
ground for beHeving that the declaration of it had considerable effect in 
preventing the maturity, if not in producing the abandonment, of all such 
designs. Both principles were laid down, after much and anxious delib- 
eration, on the part of the late administration. The President, who then 
formed a part of it, continues entirely to coincide in both. And you will 
urge upon the Government of Mexico the utility and expediency of asserting 
the same principles on all proper occasions. 
I have the honour [etc.]. 



136 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Jose Silvestre Rehello, Brazilian Charge 
d' Affaires in the United States^ 

Washington, April jj, 1825. 

Sir: I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt, at this Department, 
of your two Notes, the one under date the 28th. January, and the other 
the 6th. day of April 1825. The delay, in transmitting an answer to the 
former, has arisen from arrangements incident to the formation of a new 
Administration, and not from any insensibility to the important proposi- 
tions which it announces, or disrespect to the Government of Brazil or its 
Respectable Representative here. To those propositions, the President 
has given the most attentive Consideration. They are ist. that the United- 
States shall enter into a Convention with your Government to maintain 
its independence, in the event of Portugal being assisted by any foreign 
power to reestablish its former sway; and secondly, that a treaty of alliance 
and defence be formed between the United-States and the Government of 
Brazil to expel the arms of Portugal from any portion of the Brazilian ter- 
ritory of which they might happen, in the progress of the war, to take 
possession. 

The President of the United States adheres to the principles of his Pred- 
ecessor, as set forth in his message of the 2d. December 1823 to the Amer- 
ican Congress. But with respect to your first proposition, as there does 
not appear, at present, any likelihood of Portugal being able to draw to 
her aid other powers to assist her in resubjugating the Brazils, there would 
not seem to be any occasion for a Convention founded upon that improbable 
contingency. The President on the contrary, sees with satisfaction that 
there is a reasonable probability of a speedy peace between Portugal and 
the Government of Brazil, founded upon that Independence of which the 

' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 212. For the two notes acknowledged, see 
below, pt. in, docs. 400 and 403, Jose Silvestre Rebello, charge d'affaires of Brazil to the 
United States: Presented credentials, May 26, 1824. Took leave by letter, September i, 1829. 



234 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

United-States were the first to acknowledge. In declining, therefore, to 
enter into the proposed Convention, you will be pleased to assure your 
Government, that the determination of the President does not proceed 
from any abatement of the interest which the United States have con- 
stantly felt in the establishment of the Independence of Brazil, but is dic- 
tated solely by the want of those circumstances which would appear to be 
necessary to justify the formation of such a Convention. If in the progress 
of events there should be a renewal of demonstrations on the part of the 
European Allies to attack the Independence of the American States, the 
President will give to that new state of things, should it arise, every con- 
sideration, which its importance would undoubtedly demand. 

With respect to your second proposition of a Treaty of alliance offensive 
and defensive to repel any invasion of the Brazilian Territories by the 
forces of Portugal, if the expected Peace should take place, that also would 
be unnecessary. But such a treaty would be inconsistent with the policy 
which the United-States have heretofore prescribed to themselves, that 
policy is, that whilst the war is confined to the parent Country and its 
former Colony, the United-States remain neutral, extending their friend- 
ship and doing equal justice to both parties. From that policy they did 
not deviate during the whole of the long contest between Spain, and the 
several Independent Governments which have been erected on her former 
American Territories. If an exception to it were now for the first time 
made, the justice of your Sovereign will admit that the other new Govern- 
ments might have some cause to complain of the United-States. 

Whilst I regret that these considerations of policy which the United 
States feel themselves bound to respect, will not allow them to enter at 
this time into either of the two compacts suggested by you, I have much 
satisfaction in concurring with you in the expediency of permanently unit- 
ing our two Nations in the ties of Friendship, Peace and Commerce — With 
that view I am instructed to say to you, that the United States are disposed 
to conclude a Treaty of Peace, Amity, Navigation and Commerce with the 
Government of Brazil, and that they are willing to adopt, as the basis of 
the mutual regulations of the Commerce and Navigation of the two Coun- 
tries, a principle of equity and perfect reciprocity. If you should be em- 
powered to negotiate such a Treaty, I shall take great pleasure in entering 
upon the discussion and consideration of its terms at such time as may be 
mutually convenient 

I pray you. Sir, to accept [etc.]. 



DOCUMENT 137: APRIL I4, 1825 235 

137 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to John M. Forbes, United States Chargi 
d' Affaires at Buenos Aires ^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, April 14, 1825. 

No one knows better than yourself what a deep interest has been taken 
by the people and Government of the United States in the success of the 
Patriot cause of Spanish America throughout all its fortunes and struggles. 
The recognition of the Independence of the new Governments was made as 
early as it was possible, consistently with all those considerations of policy 
and duty which this Government felt itself bound to entertain towards 
both parties. In point of fact, with the exception of the Act of the Portu- 
guese Brazilian Government, to which it was prompted by self interest, 
and which preceded that of the United States only a few months, this Gov- 
ernment was the first to assume the responsibility, and to risque the con- 
sequences of acknowledging the new Governments formed out of Spanish 
America. The United States have never claimed, and do not now desire, 
any particular favour or concession to their commerce or navigation, as 
the consideration of the liberal policy which they have observed towards 
those Governments. But the President does confidently expect that the 
priority of movement on our part, which disconcerted schemes meditated 
by the European Allies against the Independent Governments, and has 
tended to accelerate similar acts of recognition by the European Powers, 
and especially by Great Britain, will form a powerful motive with the 
Government of Buenos Ayres, for denying to the commerce and naviga- 
tion of any of those European States any favours or privileges which shall 
not be equally extended to us. . . . 

You will bring to the notice of the Government of Buenos Ayres, the 
message of the late President of the United States to their Congress, on 
the 2nd December, 1823, asserting certain important principles of inter- 
continental law in the relations of Europe and America. The first prin- 
ciple asserted in that message is that the American Continents are not, 
henceforth, to be considered as subjects for future Colonization by any 
European Powers. In the maintenance of that principle, all the Independ- 
ent Governments of America have an interest, but that of the United States 
has probably the least. Whatever foundation may have existed three cen- 
turies ago, or even at a later period, when all this continent was under 
European subjection, for the establishment of a rule, founded on priority 
of discovery and occupation, for apportioning among the Powers of Europe, 
parts of this Continent, none can be now admitted as applicable to its 
present condition. 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 259. 



236 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

There is no disposition to disturb the Colonial possessions, as they may 
now exist, of any of the European Powers; but it is against the establish- 
ment of new European Colonies upon this continent, that the principle is 
directed. The countries in which any such new establishments might be 
attempted, are now open to the Enterprise and Commerce of all Americans. 
And the justice and propriety cannot be recognized, of arbitrarily limiting 
and circumscribing that enterprise and commerce, by the act of voluntarily 
planting a new Colony without the consent of America, under the auspices 
of foreign Powers belonging to another and a distant Continent. Europe 
would be indignant at any American attempt to plant a Colony on any 
part of her shores. And her justice must perceive, in the rule contended 
for, only a perfect reciprocity. 

The other principle asserted in the message is, that whilst we do not 
desire to interfere, in Europe, with the political system of the allied Powers, 
we should regard as dangerous to our peace and safety, any attempt on 
their part, to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere. The 
political systems of the two Continents are essentially different. Each 
has an exclusive right to judge for itself what is best suited to its own con- 
dition, and most likely to promote its happiness; but neither has a right 
to enforce upon the other, the establishment of its own peculiar system. 
This principle was declared in the face of the world, at a moment when 
there was reason to apprehend that the allied Powers were entertaining 
designs inimical to the freedom, if not the Independence, of the new Gov- 
ernments. There is ground for believing that the declaration of it had 
considerable effect in preventing the maturity, if not in producing the 
abandonment, of all such designs. Both principles were laid down after 
much and anxious deliberation on the part of the late Administration. The 
President who then formed a part of it, continues entirely to coincide in 
both. And you will urge upon the Government of Buenos Ayres, the 
utility and expediency of asserting the same principles on all proper occa- 
sions. 

The series of your despatches from No. 6. to No. 12, inclusive, has been 
received. The President has been gratified with the funeral honours 
awarded by the Government of Buenos Ayres, to the late Minister of the 
United States, Mr. Rodney, and the respectful attention subsequently 
shown to his memory. You will communicate to that Government the 
grateful sensibility which is entertained to their delicate and friendly tes- 
timonies on that melancholy occasion. 

The Government of the United States is sincerely desirous to cultivate 
and maintain the most friendly relations with all the new States formed out 
of what was Spanish America. It is expected that every Representative of 
this Government near those States will constantly bear in mind, and seize 
every fit occasion to give effect to, this friendly policy. If amicable explana- 



DOCUMENT 138: APRIL I4, 1825 237 

tions are sought, of the nature of our institutions, and their social operation, 
they should be cheerfully and frankly rendered; whilst all improper inter- 
ference in their public councils, all expressions of contempt for their habits, 
civil or religious, all intimations of incompetency on the part of their popula- 
tion, for self Government, should be sedulously avoided. Entertaining 
these views, the President saw with approbation, the discountenance you 
gave to the proposed meeting of Super-cargoes and Captains to remonstrate 
against the passage of the Law prohibiting the importation of flour, excep- 
tionable as that Law is deemed. Such a meeting of foreigners would not 
have been tolerated in our own Country, and we could not expect that what 
we should be the first to condemn in respect to ourselves, would be agreeable 
to others. If our citizens have complaints to make, they must not take 
justice into their own hands, but prefer all such complaints through the 
regular and accredited organs. 

You will communicate to the Government of Buenos Ayres the pleasure 
which the President derives from beholding the prospect of a speedy con- 
clusion of the war between Spain and her late Colonies. The recent decisive 
events in Peru have terminated it on the Continent in fact; and there wants 
now only a Treaty which the interests of Spain would seem to recommend, 
that she should not longer delay negociating, to put an end to it in form. 
If you should find that you can impart any strength to the dispositions for 
so happy an event in the Government of La Plata, you will not fail to im- 
press upon it, how very agreeable it will be to the United States to see the 
People of La Plata in the full enjoyment of all the blessings of Peace, Inde- 
pendence, and Free Government. 



138 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Condy Raguet, appointed United States 
Charge d' Affaires in Brazil^ 

[extr;\.ct] 

Washington, April 14, 1825. 

Sir: The President having, by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate, at its late session, appointed you Charg^ d'Aflfaires of the United 
States to the Brazilian Government, I transmit, herewith, your commission, 
and also a letter of credence to be presented to the Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, when you communicate to him your appointment. In the dis- 
charge of the duties of the honourable station to which you have been pro- 

' MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 266. Condy Raguet, of Pennsylvania: 
Commissioned charge d'affaires to Brazil, March 9, 1825. Because of delay in the receipt 
of his credentials he did not assume his new dignity until October. See below, pt. 111, doc. 
412 note. He had been consul at the same place. Left, April 7, 1827, having previously 
demanded his passports. 



238 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

moted, it is requested that you will continue to manifest the same zealous 
attention to the interests of the United States that you have heretofore dis- 
played in that of their Consul at Rio Janeiro. The commerce of the United 
States, already considerable with the Brazilian territories, is susceptible of 
great augmentation, and you will, therefore, lose no opportunity to advance 
its interests, and increase its facilities. Both France and Great Britain 
will probably strive to obtain for themselves peculiar privileges in the trade 
with Brazil. Great Britain will, no doubt, seek to secure with the new 
Government, the same extraordinary advantages as those which her Com- 
merce has so long enjoyed with Portugal — advantages which have placed 
Portugal almost in the condition of a colony or dependence of Great Britain. 
You will resist, firmly, and constantly, any concessions to the Commerce or 
Navigation of either of those two powers, which are not equally extended to 
the Commerce and Navigation of the United States. They neither claim 
nor desire, for themselves, any peculiar commercial privileges. But they 
are entitled confidently to expect, if not to demand, from all the circum- 
stances by which they stand connected with the Government of Brazil, that 
no such peculiar commercial privileges be granted to others. The United 
States were the first to acknowledge that Government, disregarding all the 
risks incident to the fact, and to the nature of its recent establishment, and 
overlooking the anomaly of its political form in the great family of American 
Powers. The United States do not claim, from this prompt and friendly 
measure, favour; but they insist upon equal justice to their commerce and 
navigation. And the President is altogether unprepared to see any Euro- 
pean State, which has come tardily and warily to the acknowledgment of 
Brazil, running off with commercial advantages which shall be denied to an 
earlier and more uncalculating friend. 

Mr. Rebello, the Brazilian Minister here, addressed a note to this Depart- 
ment on the 28th day of January last, and another on the 6th instant, pro- 
posing, in substance, a Treaty of offensive and defensive alliance between 
the two Countries, against the European alliance; and also a similar Treaty 
against Portugal, if she should invade the Brazilian territories. He was 
answered on the nth Instant, and copies of his notes, and of the answer 
accompany this Despatch. You will observe that the President declines 
entering into either of the proposed Treaties, but the answer contains a 
proposition to conclude a commercial Convention, regulating the commerce 
and navigation of the two Countries. No reply to this proposal has been 
yet received; but should one reach the Department before this Despatch 
leaves it, a copy of it will be sent to you. The decision upon Mr. Rebello's 
overtures has been made in conformity with that neutral policy which the 
United States have prescribed for themselves. It has not proceeded from 
any diversity of views between the late, and present, Administration, as to 
the principles announced in the President's message to Congress of 2nd 



DOCUMENT 139: APRIL 22, 1 825 239 

December, 1823. To those principles the President adheres; and you will 
embrace every proper opportunity to impress upon the Brazilian Govern- 
ment, the advantage which accrued to America from their promulgation at 
that epoch. There can be but little doubt that the ground then taken con- 
tributed to dissuade the European Allies from embarking in the cause of 
Spain, and, consequently, from uniting with Portugal, against their respec- 
tive Colonies. You will also inculcate the utility of the Brazilian Govern- 
ment maintaining, in its correspondence and intercourse with the European 
Powers, the same principle which has been proclaimed here against the 
establishment, on this Continent, of new European Colonies. 



139 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to William Miller, appointed United States 
ChargS d' Affaires to the United Provinces of the Centre of America ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, April 22, 1825. 

Sir: The President having, by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate, appointed you Charge d'Affaires to the Government of the Federal 
States of the Centre of America, I have the honour to transmit, herewith, 
your Commission, and also a letter of credence which you will present to the 
Minister of Foreign Affairs, at your first interview with him. 

The Republic of Guatemala is of more recent formation than those, the 
Independence of which was recognized by the Government of the United 
States, in March 1822. But there are circumstances in its origin and sub- 
sequent conduct, which give it a claim to the interest and regard of the 
United States, perhaps even superior to that which they have ever felt in 
any of the other Southern Republics. 

The Province of St. Salvador, one of the constituent states of the Repub- 
lic of Guatemala, by a solemn Decree of its congress, freely chosen by the 
people, did, on the 5th day of December, 1822, propose its annexation to 
our own Union, as one of these United States. This measure was adopted 
as an expedient for escaping from the oppression with which they were 
menaced, of being annexed, by force, to the Mexican Empire, while under 
the Government of Yturbide. For the purposes of carrying it into effect, 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 285. William Miller: Commissioned 
as charge d'affaires to Federation of Central America, March 7, 1825. Died September 10 
at Key Vv'est on his way to his post. An instruction practically identical with this ex- 
tract was on February 10, 1826, addressed to John Williams. See MS. Instructions 
to United States Ministers, XI, 5. John Williams, of Tennessee: Commissioned charge 
d'affaires to Federation of Central America, December 29, 1825. Took leave, December i, 
1826. 



240 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

three Commissioners were despatched, with full powers, who came to the 
United States, and, in the beginning of September, 1823, repaired to the 
City of Washington. In the interval between the time of their appoint- 
ment and that of their arrival, here, a Revolution in Mexico had overthrown 
the Government of Yturbide, and the Republican Rulers who succeeded 
to his power, acknowledged the right of the people of Guatemala to insti- 
tute a Government for themselves, and withdrew all claim of supremacy 
over them. This course of events superseded the determination which 
the Congress of St. Salvador had formed, of offering to unite their fortunes 
with our Confederation: but in announcing this new direction given to 
their affairs, the Commissioners Messrs. Manuel J. Arce, and Juan M. Rod- 
riguez declared that the people, their constituents, were animated with 
the sincerest sentiments of attachment to the Government of the United 
States; that there was a great similitude of principles between them and the 
people of this Union, and that, in every emergency, which might befall 
them, they would place great reliance upon our friendship to support them 
against the oppression of Tyranny. 

Whatever obstacle there might have been in physical relations, or in the 
Constitutional arrangements of our own Government, to the proposed 
Union, the proposal itself, and the spirit in which it was made, were em- 
inently adapted to inspire the warmest sentiments of regard and attach- 
ment towards a foreign People, speaking a different language, who thus 
confided in our honour and justice, and thus gave, in the face of all man- 
kind, the most glorious of testimonials to the wisdom of our Institutions, 
and to their sense of their tendency to promote the happiness of those who 
live under them. 

On the 8th of February last, Mr. Canaz, the Minister of the Republic 
of the Centre, addressed a Note to this Department, which affords a new, 
and highly interesting proof of the friendly sentimehts entertained by his 
Government towards the United States. In that Note, after calling the 
attention of this Government to the important object of uniting the Atlantic 
and Pacific Oceans by a Canal navigation, through the Province of Nica- 
raguay, by the direction of his Government, he offers to that of the United 
States to share in that great enterprise, and, by means of a Treaty, per- 
petually to secure the advantages of it to the two Nations. To that note, 

an answer was transmitted on the day of this month, and copies of 

them, both, accompany these instructions. From the perusal of the answer, 
without declining the friendly proposal, you will perceive that a decision 
upon it is postponed to the acquisition of further information; and you 
are desired to direct your attention particularly to that object. It will, 
at once, occur to you to ascertain if surveys have been made of the pro- 
posed route of the Canal, and if entire confidence may be placed in their 
accuracy; — what is its length; what the nature of the Country, and of the 



DOCUMENT 139: APRIL 22, 1825 24I 

ground through which it is to pass; — can the supply of water for feeders be 
drawn from the Lake Nicarauguay or other adequate sources; — in short, 
what facihties do the Country and the state of its population afford, for 
making the Canal, and what are the estimates of its cost? It is not in- 
tended that you should inspire the Government of the Republic of Gaute- 
mala with any confident expectation that the United States will contribute, 
by pecuniary or other means, to the execution of the work, because it is 
not \et known what view Congress might take of it. What the President 
desires is to be put in possession of such full information as will serve to 
guide the judgment of the Constituted Authorities of the United States in 
determining in regard to it, what belongs to their interests and duties. 

The Republic of the Centre of America being situated precisely at the 
Isthmus which forms the connexion between the two American Continents, 
and at the seat of Commerce carried on by the Bay of Honduras and the 
Musquito Shore, between the Gulph of Mexico, and the Southern Ocean, 
here drawn in their closest proximity to each other, the relations both 
political and commercial, between that Country and the United States, 
must acquire, from year to year, magnitude and importance. But of all 
the Countries of the Southern Continent, it is that with which we have 
hitherto had the fewest relations, and concerning which we have the latest 
information. To obtain that information is one of the objects of your 
mission, as well as to give proof to the worthy Republicans of those regions 
that the Government of the United States has felt, with great sensibility, 
the signal marks of confidence and friendship already received from them. 

It will be a leading and constant object of your attention, then, to obtain, 
and to communicate to this Department, by every opportunity of convey- 
ance, that may occur, information, as well respecting the physical condi- 
tion of the Country, as the moral and political character of the inhabitants. 
The Geographical boundaries of the Republic, its standing with the neigh- 
bouring Countries of Mexico, Colombia and Peru; the present state of its 
Government; its prospect of forming a permanent Republican Constitu- 
tion, and the State of its relations with European Powers will all form im- 
portant subjects of enquiry. You will, especially, observe the Country, 
with reference to its future capabilities of a Commerce, mutually advanta- 
geous, with the United States, and communicate the result of your observa- 
tions. You will avail yourself of every occasion to impress the Govern- 
ment of the Republic of Guatemala with the friendly dispositions towards 
it, of that of the United States. You will answer, in the most frank and 
full manner, all enquiries from that Government, having for their object 
information as to the practical operation of our own, or any of our. Insti- 
tutions. And whatever is peculiar in their own habits, religious or civil, 
should be treated with great indulgence. 



242 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

140 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Alexander H. Everett, United States Min- 
ister to Spain ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, April 27, 1825. 

Besides the preceding objects to which your attention will be directed, 
others of great interest will also claim it. Of these, that of the highest im- 
portance is the present war between Spain and her former Colonies, on this 
Continent. The President wishes you to bring this subject, in the most 
conciliatory manner possible, before the Spanish Government. It would 
be as unnecessary, as unprofitable to look to the past, except for the purpose 
of guiding future conduct. True wisdom dictates that Spain, without in- 
dulging in unavailing regrets on account of what she has irretrievably lost, 
should employ the means of retaining what she may yet preserve from the 
wreck of her former possessions. The war upon the Continent, is, in fact, 
at an end. Not a solitary foot of land from the western limit of the United 
States to Cape Horn owns her sway; not a bayonet in all that vast extent, 
remains to sustain her cause. And the Peninsula is utterly incompetent 
to replace those armies which have been vanquished and annihilated by the 
victorious forces of the new Republics. What possible object, then, can 
remain to Spain to protract a war which she can no longer maintain, and to 
the conclusion of which, in form, there is only wanting the recognition of 
the new Governments by Treaties of peace. If there were left the most 
distant prospect of her reconquering her Continental Provinces, which have 
achieved their independence, there might be a motive for her perseverance. 
But every expectation of such re-conquest, it is manifest, must be perfectly 
chimerical. If she can entertain no rational hope to recover what has been 
forced from her grasp, is there not great danger of her losing what she yet 
but feebly holds? It should be borne in mind that the armies of the new 
States, flushed with victory, have no longer employment on the Continent: 
and yet whilst the war continues, if it be only in name, they cannot be dis- 
banded, without a disregard of all the maxims of just precaution. To what 
object, then, will the new Republics direct their powerful and victorious 
armies? They have a common interest, and a common enemy; and let it be 
supposed that that enemy, weak and exhausted as he is, refuses to make 
peace; will they not strike wherever they can reach? And from the prox- 
imity and great value of Cuba and Porto Rico, is it not to be anticipated that 
they will aim, and aim a successful blow too, at those Spanish Islands? 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 302. Alexander H. Everett of 
Massachusetts: Commissioned secretary of legation to the Netherlands, January 24, 1815. 
Acted as charge d'affaires ad interim from May i to July 15, 1815. Commissioned envoy 
extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Spain, March 9, 1825. Took leave, July 27, 
1829. 



DOCUMENT 140: APRIL 2J , I825 243 

Whilst they would operate from without, means would, doubtless, be, at the 
same time, employed to stimulate the population within to a revolt. And 
that the disposition exists among the inhabitants to a considerable extent, 
to throw off the Spanish authority, is well known. It is due to the United 
States to declare that they have constantly declined to give any countenance 
to that disposition. 

It is not, then, for the new Republics that the President wishes you to 
urge upon Spain the expediency of concluding the war. Their interest is 
probably on the side of its continuance, if any nation can ever have an inter- 
est in a state of war. But it is for Spain herself, for the cause of humanity, 
for the general repose of the world, that you are required, with all the deli- 
cacy which belongs to the subject, to use every topic of persuasion to impress 
upon the Councils of Spain, the propriety, by a formal pacification, of ter- 
minating the war. And, as the views and policy of the United States, in 
regard to those Islands may possibly have some influence, you are author- 
ized, frankly and fully to disclose them. The United States are satisfied 
with the present condition of those Islands, in the hands of Spain, and with 
their Ports open to our commerce, as they are now open. This Government 
desires no political change of that condition. The population itself, of the 
Islands is incompetent, at present, from its composition and its amount, to 
maintain self government. The maritime force of the neighbouring Repub- 
lics of Mexico and Colombia is not now, nor is it likely shortly to be, adequate 
to the protection of those Islands, if the conquest of them were effected. 
The United States would entertain constant apprehensions of their passing 
from their possession to that of some less friendly sovereignty. And of all 
the European Powers, this Country prefers that Cuba and Porto Rico should 
remain dependent on Spain. If the war should^ontinue betwet?iY Spain and 
the new Republics, and those Islands should become the object and the 
theatre of it, their fortunes have such a connexion with the prosperity of the 
United States that they could not be indifferent spectators; and the possible 
contingencies of such a protracted war might bring upon the Government 
of the United States duties and obligations, the performance of which, how- 
ever painful it should be, they might not be at liberty to decline. A sub- 
sidiary consideration in favour of peace, deserving some weight, is, that as 
the war has been the parent cause of the shocking piracies in the west Indies, 
its termination would be probably followed by their cessation. And thus 
the Government of Spain, by one act, would fulfil the double obligation 
under which it lies, to foreign Governments, of repressing enormities, the 
perpetrators of which find refuge, if not succour, in Spanish territory, and 
that to the Spanish Nation itself, of promoting its real interests. 



244 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

141 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Henry Middleton, United States Minister 

to Russia ^ 

Washington, May lo, 1825. 

Sir: I am directed by the President to instruct you to endeavor to engage 
the Russian Government to contribute its best exertions towards terminat- 
ing the existing contest between Spain and her colonies. 

Among the interests which, at this period, should most command the 
serious attention of the nations of the Old and New World, no one is be- 
lieved to have a claim so paramount as that of the present war. It has 
existed, in greater or less extent, seventeen years. Its earlier stages were 
marked by the most shocking excesses, and, throughout, it has been at- 
tended by an almost incalculable waste of blood and treasure. During its 
continuance whole generations have passed away without living to see its 
close, while others have succeeded them, growing up from infancy to major- 
ity without ever tasting the blessings of peace. The conclusion of that war, 
whatever and whenever it may be, must have a great effect upon Europe 
and America. Russia is so situated, as that, while she will be less directly 
affected than other parts of Christendom, her weight and her councils must 
have a controlling influence on its useless protraction or its happy termi- 
nation. If this peculiar attitude secures her impartiality, it draws to it 
great responsibility in the decision which she may feel it proper to make. 
The predominance of the power of the Emperor is everywhere felt. Europe, 
America, and Asia, all own it. It is with a perfect knowledge of its vast 
extent, and the profoundest respect for the wisdom and the justice of the 
august personage who wields it, that his enlightened and humane councils 
are now invoked. 

In considering that war, as in considering all others, we should look back 
upon the past, deliberately survey its present condition, and endeavor, if 
possible, to catch a view of what is to come. With respect to the first 
branch of the subject, it is, perhaps, of the least practical importance. No 
statesman can have contemplated the colonial relations of Europe and Con- 
tinental America without foreseeing that the time must come when they 
would cease. That time might have been retarded or accelerated, but 
come it must, in the great march of human events. An attempt of the 
British Parliament to tax, without their consent, the former British col- 
onies, now these United States, produced the war of our Revolution, and 
led to the establishment of that independence and freedom which we now 

1 American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V, 846. Henry Middleton, of South Carolina: 
Commissioned envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Russia, April 6, 1820. 
Left post about August 3, 1830. His letter of recall was presented by Mr. Clay, charg6 
d'affaires ad interim, January 12, 1831. Empowered, July 29, 1823, to negotiate with Great 
Britain and Russia, jointly, concerning commerce and navigation, fisheries, abolition of the 
African slave-trade, and concerning the principles of maritime war and neutrality. 



DOCUMENT 141: MAY 10, 1825 245 

SO justly prize. Moderation and forbearance on the part of Great Britain 
might have postponed, but could not have prevented our ultimate separa- 
tion. The attempt of Bonaparte to subvert the ancient dynasty of Spain, 
and to place on its throne a member of his own family, no doubt, hastened 
the independence of the Spanish colonies. If he had not been urged, by 
his ambition, to the conquest of the Peninsula, those colonies, for a long 
time to come, might have continued quietly to submit to the parental sway. 
But they must have inevitably thrown it off, sooner or later. We may 
imagine that a vast continent, uninhabited, or thinly peopled by a savage 
and untutored race, may be governed by a remote country, blessed with the 
lights and possessed of the power of civilization ; but it is absurd to suppose 
that this same continent, in extent twenty times greater than that of the 
parent country, and doubling it in a population equally civilized, should 
not be able, when it chooses to make the effort, to cast off the distant author- 
ity. When the epoch of separation between a parent State and its colony, 
from whatever cause, arrives, the struggle for self-government on the one 
hand, and for the preservation of power on the other, produces mutual 
exasperation, and leads to a most embittered and ferocious war. It is then 
that it becomes the duty of third powers to interpose their humane offices, 
and calm the passions and enlighten the councils of the parties. And the 
necessity of their efforts is greatest with the parent country, whose pride, 
and whose wealth and power, swelled by the colonial contributions, create 
the most repugnance to an acquiescence in a severance which has been 
ordained by Providence. 

In the war which has been so long raging between Spain and her colonies 
the United States have taken no part, either to produce or to sustain it. 
They have been inactive and neutral spectators of the passing scenes. Their 
frankness forbids, however, that they should say that they have beheld those 
scenes with feelings of indifference. They have, on the contrary, anxiously 
desired that other parts of this continent should acquire and enjoy that 
independence with which, by the valor and the patriotism of the founders 
of their liberty, they have been, under the smiles of Heaven, so greatly 
blessed. 

But, in the indulgence of this sympathetic feeling, they have not for one 
moment been unmindful of the duties of that neutrality which they had 
deliberately announced. And the best proof of the fidelity with which they 
have strictly fulfilled its obhgations is furnished in the fact that, during the 
progress of the war, they have been unjustly accused, by both parties, of 
violating their declared neutrality. But it is now of little consequence to 
retrace the causes, remote or proximate, of the revolt of the Spanish colonies. 
The great and much more important consideration which will, no doubt, 
attract the attention of his Imperial Majesty is the present state of the con- 
test. The principles which produced the war, and those which may be 



246 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

incorporated in the institutions of the new States, may divide the opinions of 
men. Principles, unhappily, are too often the subject of controversy; but 
notorious facts are incontestible. They speak a language which silences all 
speculation, and should determine the judgment and the conduct of States, 
whatever may be the school in which their rulers are brought up or prac- 
ticed, and whatever the social forms which they would desire to see estab- 
lished. And it is to the voice of such facts that Europe and America are 
now called upon patiently to listen. 

And in contemplating the present state of the war, what are the circum- 
stances which must forcibly strike every reflecting observer? Throughout 
both continents, from the western limits of the United States to Cape Horn, 
the Spanish power is subdued. The recent decisive victory of Ayacucho has 
annihilated the last remains of the Spanish force. Not a foot of territory in 
all that vast extent owns the dominion, not a bayonet sustains the cause of 
Spain. The war, in truth, has ended. It has been a war between a con- 
tracted corner of Europe and an entire continent; between ten millions of 
people, amidst their own extraordinary convulsions, fighting, at a distance 
across an ocean of three thousand miles in extent, against twenty millions 
contending at home for their lives, their liberty, and their property. Hence- 
forward it will present only the image of a war between an exhausted dwarf 
struggling for power and empire, against a refreshed giant combating for 
freedom and existence. Too much confidence is reposed in the enlightened 
judgment of his Imperial Majesty to allow of the belief that he will permit 
any abatement of his desire to see such a war formally terminated, and the 
blessings of peace restored, from sympathies which he may feel, however 
strong, for the unhappy condition of Spain. These very sympathies will 
naturally lead his Imperial Majesty to give her the best and most friendly 
advice in her actual posture. And in what does that consist? His Imperial 
Majesty must be the exclusive, as he is the most competent judge. But it 
will not be deemed inconsistent with respect to inquire if it be possible to 
believe that Spain can bring the new States again under her dominion. 
Where does the remotest prospect of her success break out? In Colombia, 
Mexico, or Peru? The reconquest of the United States by Great Britain 
would not be a more mad and hopeless enterprise than that of the restoration 
of the Spanish power on these continents. Some of the most considerable 
of the new States have established Governments, which are in full and 
successful operation, regularly collecting large revenues, levying and main- 
taining numerous and well appointed armies, and already laying the founda- 
tions of respectable marines. Whilst they are consolidating their institu- 
tions at home, they are strengthening themselves abroad by treaties of 
alliance among themselves, and of amity and commerce with foreign States. 
Is the vain hope indulged that intestine divisions within the new States will 
arise, which may lead to the recall of the Spanish power, as the Stuarts were 



DOCUMENT 141: MAY 10, 1825 247 

recalled in England, and the Bourbons in France, at the close of their re- 
spective revolutions? 

We should not deceive ourselves. Amidst all the political changes of 
which the new States are destined to be the theatre, whatever party or 
power may be uppermost, one spirit will animate them all, and that is, an 
invincible aversion from all political connexion with Spain, and an uncon- 
querable desire of independence. It could not be otherwise. They have 
already tasted the fruits of independence. And the contrast between what 
their condition now is in the possession of free commerce, liberal institutions, 
and all the faculties of their country, and its population allowed full physical 
and moral development, and what it was under Spain, cramped, debased, 
and degraded, must be fatal to the chimerical hope of that monarchy, if it be 
cherished, by any means whatever to re-establish her power. The cord 
which binds a colony to its parent country being broken is never repaired. A 
recollection of what was infiicted and what was borne during the existence 
of that relation, the pride of the former governing power, and the sacrifices 
of the interests of the colony to those of the parent, widen and render the 
breach between them, whenever it occurs, perpetual. And if, as we may 
justly suppose, the embittered feelings excited by an experience of that 
unequal connexion are in proportion to the severity of the parental rule, they 
must operate with irresistible force on the rupture which has taken place 
between Spain and her colonies, since in no other instance has it been exerted 
with such unmitigated rigor. 

Viewing the war as practically terminated, so far at least as relates to 
Spanish exertion on the continent, in considering the third branch of the 
inquiry which I proposed, let us endeavor to anticipate what may be ex- 
pected to happen if Spain obstinately perseveres in the refusal to conclude a 
peace. If the war has only a nominal continuance, the new Republics 
cannot disband their victorious armies without culpable neglect of all the 
maxims of prudence and precaution. And the first observation that occurs 
is, that this protracted war must totally change its character and its objects. 
Instead of being a war of offensive operations, in which Spain has been 
carrying on hostilities in the bosom of the new States, it will become one to 
her of a defensive nature, in which all her future exertions must be directed 
to the protection and defence of her remaining insular possessions. And 
thus the Peninsula, instead of deriving the revenue and the aid so necessary 
to the revival of its prosperity from Cuba and Porto Rico, must be further 
drained to succor those islands. For it cannot be doubted that the new 
States will direct their combined and unemployed forces to the reduction of 
those valuable islands. They will naturally strike their enemy wherever 
they can reach him. And they will be stimulated to the attack by the 
double motive arising from the richness of the prize, and from the fact that 
those islands constitute the rendezvous of Spain, where are concentrated 



248 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

and from which issue all the means of annoying them which remain to her. 
The success of the enterprise is by no means improbable. Their proximity 
to the islands, and their armies being perfectly acclimated, will give to the 
united efforts of the Republics great advantages. And if with these be 
taken into the estimate the important and well known fact that a large por- 
tion of the inhabitants of the islands is predisposed to a separation from 
Spain, and would therefore form a powerful auxiliary to the republican arms, 
their success becomes almost certain. But even if they should prove 
incompetent to the reduction of the islands, there can be but little doubt 
that the shattered remains of Spanish commerce would be swept from the 
ocean. The advantages of the positions of Colombia and Mexico for 
annoying that commerce in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea must 
be evident from the slightest observation. In fact, Cuba is in the mouth of a 
sack, which is held by Colombia and the United Mexican States. And if, 
unhappily for the repose of the world, the war should be continued, the 
coasts of the Peninsula itself may be expected soon to swarm with the 
privateers of the Republics. If, on the contrary, Spain should consent to 
put an end to the war, she might yet preserve what remains of her former 
American possessions. And surely the retention of such islands as Cuba and 
Porto Rico is eminently worthy of serious consideration, and should satisfy 
a reasonable ambition. The possessions of Spain in the West Indies would 
be still more valuable than those of any other power. The war ended, her 
commerce would revive, and there is every reason to anticipate, from the 
habits, prejudices, and tastes of the new Republics, that she would find, in 
the consumption of their population, a constantly augmenting demand for 
the produce of her industry, now excluded from its best markets. And her 
experience, like that of Great Britain with the United States, would demon- 
strate that the value of the commercial intercourse would more than indem- 
nify the loss, while it is unburdened with the expense incident to political 
connexion. 

A subordinate consideration, which should not be overlooked, is, that large 
estates are owned by Spanish subjects, resident in Spain, which may possibly 
be confiscated if the war be wantonly continued. If that measure of rigor 
shall not be adopted, their incomes must be greatly diminished during a 
state of war. These incomes, upon the restoration of peace, or the proceeds 
of the sales of the estates themselves, might be drawn to Spain, and would 
greatly contribute towards raising her from her present condition of embar- 
rassment and languishment. If peace should be longer deferred, and the 
war should take the probable direction which has been supposed, during its 
further progress other powers not now parties may be collaterally drawn into 
it. From much less considerable causes the peace of the world has been 
often disturbed. From the vicinity of Cuba to the United States, its val- 
uable commerce and the nature of its population, their Government cannot 



DOCUMENT 141: MAY 10, 1 825 249 

be indifferent to any political change to which that island may be destined. 
Great Britain and France also have deep interests in its fortunes, which 
must keep them wide awake to all those changes. In short, what European 
State has not much at stake, direct or indirect, in the destiny, be it what it 
may, of that most valuable of all the West India islands? The reflections 
and the experience of the Emperor on the vicissitudes of war must have 
impressed him with the solemn duty of all Governments to guard against 
even the distant approach of that most terrible of all scourges by every 
precaution with which human prudence and foresight can surround the 
repose and safety of States. 

Such is the view of the war between Spain and the new Republics which 
the President desires you most earnestly, but respectfully, to present to his 
Imperial Majesty. From this view it is evident that it is not so much for 
the new States themselves as for Spain that peace has become absolutely 
necessary. Their independence of her, whatever intestine divisions may, 
if intestine divisions shall, yet unhappily await them, is fixed and irrevocable. 
She may, indeed, by a blind and fatal protraction of the war, yet lose more: 
gain, for her, is impossible. In becoming the advocate for peace, one is the 
true advocate of Spain. If the Emperor shall, by his wisdom, enlighten the 
councils of Spain, and bring home to them a conviction of her real interests, 
there can be no fears of the success of his powerful interposition. You are 
authorized, in that spirit of the most perfect frankness and friendship which 
have ever characterized all the relations between Russia and the United 
States, to disclose, without reserve, the feelings and the wishes of the United 
States in respect to Cuba and Porto Rico. They are satisfied with the 
present condition of those islands, now open to the commerce and enterprise 
of their citizens. They desire for themselves no political change in them. 
If Cuba were to declare itself independent, the amount and the character of 
its population render it improbable that it could maintain its independence. 

Such a premature declaration might bring about a renewal of those shock- 
ing scenes of which a neighboring island was the afflicting theatre. There 
could be no effectual preventive of those scenes, but in the guaranty, and in 
a large resident force of foreign powers. The terms of such a guaranty, and 
the quotas which each should contribute of such a force, would create per- 
plexing questions of very difficult adjustment, to say nothing of the continual 
jealousies which would be in operation. In the state of possession which 
Spain has, there would be a ready acquiescence of those very foreign powers, 
all of whom would be put into angry activity upon the smallest prospect of a 
transfer of those islands. The United States could not, with indifference, 
see such a transfer to any European power. And if the new Republics, or 
either of them, were to conquer them, their maritime force as it now is, or 
for a long time to come is likely to be, would keep up constant apprehensions 
of their safety. Nor is it believed that the new States desire, or will attempt. 



250 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

the acquisition, unless they shall be compelled, in their own defence, to make 
it, by the unnecessary prolongation of the war. Acting on the policy which 
is here unfolded, the Government of the United States, although they would 
have been justified to have seized Cuba and Porto Rico, in the just protection 
of the lives and the commerce of their citizens, which have been a prey to 
infamous pirates finding succor and refuge in Spanish territory, have signally 
displayed their patience and moderation by a scrupulous respect of the 
sovereignty of Spain, who was herself bound, but has utterly failed, to repress 
those enormities. 

Finally, the President cherishes the hope that the Emperor's devotion to 
peace, no less than his friendship for Spain, will induce him to lend the high 
authority of his name to the conclusion of a war the further prosecution of 
which must have the certain effect of an useless waste of human life. No 
power has displayed more solicitude for the repose of the world than Russia, 
who has recently given the strongest evidence of her unwillingness to disturb 
it, in the East, by unexampled moderation and forbearance. By extending 
to America the blessings of that peace which, under the auspices of his 
Imperial Majesty, Europe now enjoys, all parts of this continent will have 
grateful occasion for regarding him, as the United States ever have done, as 
their most potent and faithful friend. 

This despatch is confided to your discretion, to be communicated in 
extenso, or its contents disclosed in such other manner to the Government of 
Russia as shall appear to you most likely to accomplish its object. 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



142 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Riifus King, appointed United States Min- 
ister to Great Britain ^ 

Washington, May 11, 1825. 

Sir: The coincidence in the policy of the United States and Great Britain, 
and the friendly communications which the British Government has made to 
this, in regard to the war between Spain and the new States on this Conti- 
nent, require that there should be observed the utmost frankness in the inter- 
course between the two Countries. It is in this spirit that you are requested 
to make known to the Government of Great Britain, the desire which ani- 
mates the President, to see that War honourably terminated. Its further 
prosecution can be attended with no beneficial effect to Spain herself, and if 
she is made sensible of her true interests, and the dangers to which her insular 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 345. Rufus King, of New York: 
Commissioned envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary May 5, 1 825, to Great 
Britain. Retired June 16, 1826. 



DOCUMENT 143: MAY I3, 1825 25I 

possessions are now exposed, it is believed that she would consent to put an 
end to it. Instructions have been given to Mr. Poinsett, and will be given to 
others of our Ministers near the new States, to strengthen in them, if neces- 
sary, a disposition to peace. Mr. Everett is charged with similar instructions 
to operate at Madrid. The same object will be confided to our Ministers at 
Paris and St. Petersburg. I transmit you, herewith, a copy of my ofificial 
note, addressed to Mr. Middleton,^ as best explaining the views which are 
entertained by the President. You are authorized to make such use of it 
with the British Government as your judgment shall approve. It is under- 
stood that the local Government of Cuba has petitioned the King of Spain to 
make peace, by acknowledging the Independence of the new States. If Great 
Britain, and the other principal European Powers, would heartily unite with 
the United States in these pacific endeavours, the President entertains the 
confident hope that a stop would be put to the further, and unnecessary ef- 
fusion of human blood. 
I am [etc.]. 



143 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to James Brown, United States Minister to 

France ^ 

Washington, May ij, 1825. 

Sir: The President entertains a strong desire to see the war between Spain 
and her former Colonies terminated. Besides the considerations of human- 
ity which, alone, would be quite sufficient to create such a desire, the danger 
to the peace of other States, and of the United States especially, gives much 
additional strength to the sentiment. With the view to promote that inter- 
esting object, Mr. Poinsett has been, and others of our Ministers to the new 
States will be, instructed to use their best exertions. But it is in Europe 
more than in America that our efforts must be directed. And the strong 
ground to take is that peace is more necessary to Spain than to the new Re- 
publics. Accordingly, Mr. Everett has been instructed to endeavour to 
make Spain sensible of the advantages to her of putting an end to the war, 
and the dangers which hang over her by its further useless prosecution. I 
have also, by the directions of the President, addressed a note to Mr. Middle- 
ton, to enlist the Government of Russia in the cause of peace. Mr. King has 
received similar instructions, in reference to Great Britain. And you are re- 
quested to open the matter to the French Government, in the hope that they 
may co-operate in the great object. To enable you to lay before that Gov- 
ernment our views, I transmit you, herewith, a copy of the despatch to Mr. 

^ See above, doc. 141, Clay to Middleton, May 10, 1825. 
2 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 356. 



252 PART I: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

Middleton,^ the use of which is committed to your discretion. A Hke copy 
has been put into the possession of Mr. King. Information has reached us, 
that the local Authorities of Cuba have petitioned the King of Spain to ac- 
knowledge the new Republics, and close the war. By a concerted system of 
action, direct and collateral, on Spain, it is hoped that she may be made to see 
the necessity of peace. And great confidence would be placed in this hope, if 
Russia and France, the Powers most likely to influence the Councils of Spain, 
would lend their hearty co-operation. 
I am [etc.]. 



144 

Daniel Brent, Acting Secretary of State, to Baron de Tuyll, Russian Minister 

to the United States ^ 

Washington, May 23, 1825. 

Mr. Daniel Brent presents his compliments to the Baron de Tuyll, Envoy 
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary from Russia, and has the honour 
to return to him the project of a Despatch which the Baron lately prepared 
for Count Lieven, His Imperial Majesty's ambassador in London, and which 
Mr. Brent submitted to the perusal of the President of the United States on 
Saturday last, agreeably to the wish of the Baron. Mr. Brent takes great 
pleasure in adding that the President sees in the project referred to a just in- 
terpretation of the tenor and purpose of the instructions which he had re- 
cently caused to be given to the representative of the United States at the 
court of H. I. M. in relation to South American affairs. 



145 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Richard C. Anderson, United States Min- 
ister to Colombia ^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, September 16, 1825. 

During the last spring, the Ministers of Colombia and Mexico near this 

Government, made separate, but nearly simultaneous, communications to 

this Department, in relation to the contemplated Congress at Panama. 

Each of them stated that he was instructed by his Government to say, that 

1 See above, doc. 141, Clay to Middleton, May 10, 1825. 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 222. 

3 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 383. 



DOCUMENT 145: SEPTEMBER 16, 1825 253 

it would be very agreeable to it that the United States should be represented 
at that Congress; that it was not expected that they would take any part 
in its deliberations, or measures of concert, in respect to the existing war 
with Spain, but that other great interests affecting the Continent of America, 
and the friendly intercourse between the Independent Nations which are 
established on it, might be considered and regulated at the Congress; and 
that, not knowing what might be the views of the United States, a previous 
enquiry was directed to be made, whether they would, if invited by Colombia 
or Mexico, be represented at Panama; and if an affirmative answer were 
given, each of those Ministers stated that the United States would be ac- 
cordingly invited by his Government to be represented there. The Presi- 
dent instructed me to say, and I accordingly replied, that the communica- 
tion was received with great sensibility to the friendly consideration of the 
United States, by which it had been dictated; that, of course, they could not 
make themselves any party to the existing war with Spain, or to councils 
for deliberating on the means of its further prosecution; that he believed 
such a Congress as was proposed, might be highly useful in settling several 
important disputed questions of public Law, and in arranging other matters 
of deep interest to the American Continent, and to the friendly intercourse 
between the American Powers; that before such a Congress, however, as- 
sembled, it appeared to him to be necessary to arrange between the different 
Powers to be represented, several preliminary points, such as, the subjects 
to which the attention of the Congress was to be directed; the nature, and 
the form, of the Powers to be given to the Ministers, and the mode of organ- 
izing the Congress. If these preliminary points could be adjusted, in a 
manner satisfactory to the United States, the Ministers from Colombia and 
Mexico were informed that the United States would be represented at the 
Congress. Upon enquiry, if these preliminary points had yet engaged the 
attention of the Government either of Colombia or Mexico, they were 
unable to inform me that they had, whilst both appeared to admit the 
expediency of their being settled. Each of them undertook to communicate 
to his Government the answer which I had been instructed by the President 
to make; and nothing further has since passed. It has been deemed proper 
that you should be made acquainted with what has occurred here on this 
matter, in order that, if it should be touched upon by the Colombian Gov- 
ernment, you may, if necessary, be able to communicate what happened. 
Should the President ultimately determine that the United States shall be 
represented at Panama you will be designated for that service, either alone, 
or associated with others, and you will hold yourself in readiness accord- 
ingly. We shall make no further movement, until we hear from the Gov- 
ernment of Colombia or Mexico. . . . 

On the loth day of May last, I addressed an official note by the direction 
of the President, to the Minister of the United States at St. Petersburg, 



254 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

(of which a copy is herewith transmitted to you) having for its object to 
engage the friendly offices of Russia, to hasten a peace between Spain and 
the new American States. The same note, or the substance of it, has been 
communicated through the Ministers of the United States, to the Courts of 
Paris and London, with the same purpose of peace. The hope has been 
indulged that, by a common exertion, and especially by the interposition of 
the Emperor of Russia, Spain may be made sensible of her true interests, 
and consent to terminate a war which she has no longer the ability to prose- 
cute. No information has been yet obtained from Russia, of the manner 
in which the Emperor has received this appeal to his humanity and his 
power. From the reception given to the application, by France, we are 
confirmed in the previous impression of the importance of the movement of 
Russia, and new efTorts, if they shall be considered likely to be useful, will 
be employed to urge her to the great work of pacification. In the mean- 
time, it is deemed proper to put you in possession of what has been done, 
and of the copy of the note itself, which you are authorised to communicate 
to the Government of Colombia, or such parts of it as may appear to you 
to be expedient. 



146 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Rufus King, United States Minister to 

Great Britain ^ 

Washington, October 17, 1825. 

Sir: Your despatch under date, the nth August,^ at Cheltenham with 
Mr. Canning's communication of the 7th of the same month, has been duly 
received; as also that of the 21st of August,^ at London, transmitting his 
note, with the Tripartite instrument which he proposes to be signed by the 
Governments of the United States, Great Britain and France. These 
several papers have been laid before the President, and been deliberately 
considered. 

He sees, with much satisfaction, the entire coincidence which exists 
between the Governments of the United States and Great Britain, as to the 
expediency of terminating the war between Spain and her former Colonies, 
and their concurrence also, in the fitness of the Island of Cuba continuing to 
abide in the possession of Spain. Agreeing, as the two Powers do, in those 
two important objects, the hope is indulged that they may ultimately be 
induced to think alike as to the means best adapted to their accomplishment. 

The great object — that which is recommended alike by the interests of all 

' MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 394. 
^ See below, pt. vin, doc. 833. 
3 See below, pt. vni, doc. 835. 



DOCUMENT 146: OCTOBER 1 7, 1 825 255 

parties, and of humanity — is the termination of the war. Whatever dangers 
threaten Cuba, within, or from without, are to be traced to the war. That 
ceasing, they will quickly disappear. And they will equally vanish, whether 
peace is concluded by recognizing the new States, or a simple suspension of 
hostilities takes place without such recognition. With this view of the 
matter, the President, shortly after the commencement of the present ad- 
ministration, thought it advisable to direct the efforts of this Government 
towards bringing about a peace. Aware of the hopelessness of a direct 
appeal to Spain herself, it was thought best to invoke the interposition of 
the great Powers of Europe, and especially of Russia, believed to have a 
preponderating influence in the councils of Spain. Accordingly, a Note was 
transmitted to the American Minister at St. Petersburg, to be communicated 
to the Government of Russia, and a copy of it was also forwarded to you, 
and to Mr. Brown at Paris, to be used in communications with the respective 
Governments of Great Britain and France. In that note, it was attempted 
to be shewn that, if it were the true interest of both belligerents, it was 
evidently still more that of Spain, to put an end to the war; that, so far as 
respected the object of the recovery of her dominion over the Colonies, the 
war was concluded; and that its further prosecution could only be attended 
with an useless waste of human blood, and the probable loss of Cuba and 
Porto Rico, with the danger of involving in its calamities, other Powers, not 
now parties to it. It was also distinctly stated in that note, that the United 
States, for themselves, desired no change in the political condition of Cuba; 
that they were satisfied it should remain, open as it now is, to their com- 
merce, in the hands of Spain; and that they could not, with indifference, see 
it passing from Spain to any European Power. 

Absolute confidence in the success of these pacific exertions, however it 
might have been warranted by the actual state of the war, has never been 
cherished. They were justified by the purity of the motives which dictated 
them, and whatever may be their result, no regret can ever be felt on account 
of their having been made. Mr. Canning is greatly mistaken in supposing 
us to have counted upon the impression, to be made, by the employment of 
the blandishments of flattery with Russia; nor can it, for a moment, be 
admitted that the Emperor would be susceptible to their influence. They 
are instruments foreign to our habits, to our principles, and to our institu- 
tions, which we have practiced neither on that, nor on any previous occasion. 
If it were possible for us to employ such auxiliaries, we should have to resort 
to other climes and to other schools to qualify ourselves for their use. Our 
relations with Russia have been generally satisfactory, and characterized by 
mutual amity; but we have every reason to believe that this happy result 
has proceeded from a sense of the justice of the two Powers to what was due 
to the interests of each, and not to attainments, of the possession of which 
we are altogether unconscious. If, in the note to Mr. Middleton, the power 



256 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

and preponderating influence of Russia are dwelt upon, they are notorious 
facts, and we have the authority of Mr. Canning himself for considering her 
as the "moving soul of the continental alliance." 

We have heard from France, and although the answer given by Count de 
Damas to Mr. Brown is not so encouraging as could have been wished, it 
has not yet divested us altogether of hope. He thinks the present period 
not favourable to peace; but he, at the same time, admits the correctness of 
the views presented by this Government as to the state of the war, and in 
regard to the real interests of Spain. The difficulties, he believes, which 
lie in the way of peace, grow out of the personal character of the Monarch, 
and the mortified pride of Spain. Mr. Brown inferred, from what occurred 
at his interview with the French Secretary, that which we, before, well 
knew, that the first movement on Spain, must come from Russia, and that 
France would follow, rather than lead. From Russia we have not yet heard. 
Mr. Canning may be right in predicting a failure of the attempt; but we 
would not willingly believe in such a discouraging issue, for the reasons 
which he assigns. It is possible that the principles and prejudices of the 
Emperor of Russia may be opposed to the establishment, in Spanish Amer- 
ica, of free Governments springing out of a revolution. But, if they be, in 
fact, established; if the power of Spain is altogether incompetent to their 
overthrow, and the recovery of her former dominion, it is difficult to con- 
ceive that he should dissuade her from yielding to a necessity absolutely 
incontrollable. We know that the Emperor of Russia does maintain the 
most perfectly friendly relations with a State whose social forms are directly 
opposite to those of Russia. If the Emperor of Russia advised Spain to 
refuse an acknowledgement of the Independence of the former Colonies, 
and to persevere in the war, that advice must have been given when a gleam 
of hope remained. Now that it is forever obscured, to suppose that he 
would persist in that advice after subsequent events, and especially after the 
decisive battle of Ayacucho, would be to attribute a degree of perverse 
obstinacy to the Emperor, utterly incompatible with the fidelity of the 
friendship which he entertains for Spain, and which should be very reluc- 
tantly credited. If he has lost the opportunity of taking the lead in that 
line of policy which the United States and Great Britain have wisely adopted, 
that remains to him, of being the great Pacificator between the Continent 
of America and Spain. And, bearing in mind that principle of our nature 
which impels us anxiously to hope for the possession of a desired object, not 
yet within our grasp, and even to exaggerate its importance beyond that 
which we attach to acquisitions already made, there is reason to believe 
that, by now becoming the successful agent of peace, the Emperor may 
regain, in the view and affections of the new States, and in the consideration 
of the world, even more than he has yet lost by any tardiness in his acknowl- 
edgement of their Independence. Mr. Canning supposes Spain to be ruined, 



DOCUMENT 146: OCTOBER 17, 1825 257 

and that the Emperor has pushed her on in her bUnd folly. Her condition 
is indeed bad enough, whether viewed at home or abroad. But the Nation 
remains, and yet presents elements which, if wisely combined, and directed, 
would make it a powerful and respectable State. With a population not 
much short of ten millions, at home, a fine country, genial climate, and the 
ample Colonial possessions of Cuba and Porto Rico, to say nothing of other 
insular domains, Spain wants only wise Government, and peace. If, as is 
alleged, by pursuing the advice of the Emperor, she has lost, or has been 
unable to reconquer, her American Continental possessions; and if, by con- 
tinuing in a state of hostilities, she puts in eminent peril what remains to 
her in this hemisphere, we must be disposed to believe that he will inculcate 
upon her, other councils, unless, (which cannot be believed) he has not the 
intelligence to comprehend, or the sincerity to recommend, that, which, in 
the present state of things, is the obvious interest of Spain. These are some 
of the views which lead us yet to cling to the hope that Russia may inter- 
pose her good offices to produce peace, notwithstanding the contrary predic- 
tions so confidently put forth by Mr. Secretary Canning. That object is, 
however, in itself so desirable, that all fair and practicable means of bringing 
it about should be considered with the utmost candour and deliberation. 
It is in this state of feeling that Mr. Canning's proposal has been taken up, 
and attentively and respectfully examined. 

That proposal is, the signature by the United States, Great Britain and 
France, either of three ministerial notes — one between Great Britain and 
the United States, — one between the United States and France, and one 
between France and Great Britain; — or one Tripartite note, signed by all, 
disclaiming, each for himself, any intention to occupy Cuba, and protesting 
against such an occupation by either of the others. And the draft of such 
a paper as is contemplated by the latter alternative, accompanies Mr. 
Canning's note of the yth of August. He thinks that Spain apprehends 
danger to Cuba from the suspected ambition of the old Powers (Great 
Britain, France and the United States) whilst she thinks comparatively but 
little of that which impends over it from the new; and he cherishes the belief 
that, when we jointly go to Spain with this disclaimer of all designs upon 
Cuba, in our hands, she will be soothed, and disposed to listen to our united 
Councils, which, otherwise, would be heard with suspicion, and repelled with 
resentment. 

Considered as a measure of peace, I am not satisfied that Mr. Canning's 
estimate of the value of his proposal, is not too high. Whatever follies the 
King of Spain may have committed, we must still treat of him as a rational 
being, operated upon by similar motives to those which generally influence 
the conduct of Rulers. His fears now are, that, taking advantage of his 
weakness, and of vicissitudes in the existing war, one of the great maritime 
Powers of Europe or America may wrest Cuba from him; and his interests 



258 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

require security for that important Island. Whilst the danger continues, 
both his fears and his interests would seem to unite on peace, by which it 
may be effectually removed. But if he is quieted as to the greatest source 
of his apprehensions, and thus made secure in his possessions, a powerful 
motive of peace would be withdrawn. And he might then, with perfect 
composure, calculate the cost, and the comparatively little danger to Cuba 
from the new States, arising out of the protraction of the war. If, as is 
quite likely, Spain entertains the alleged suspicions of the old Powers, she 
ought to suppress them, the moment they advise the conclusion of peace, a 
state unpropitious to their realization, being founded altogether on the con- 
tingency of the continuance of the war. And I confess, I am not sure that 
Spain, tranquilized in all her apprehensions about further colonial losses, 
would not find herself strengthened in her resolution to prolong the war, in 
the hope of re-establishing her antient power on some part of this Continent. 
After all that has happened, it would be too sanguine to believe that the 
United States and Great Britain can place themselves in any attitude that 
would induce Spain to take counsel from them, as from sincere, disinterested, 
and acceptable advocates of peace. And it may be doubted whether it 
would not be better, in aid of the cause of peace, to leave her to the opera- 
tion of the full force of all her apprehensions about the possible contingencies 
which may assail her West India possessions in the further progress of the 
war, rather than give her the proposed security against those which she now 
most dreads. 

We cannot, then, in the proposal of the British Government, discern the 
tendency towards peace which they believe it to possess. On the contrary, 
it is to be feared that, instead of its hastening the termination of the war, 
the sanction of the three Powers being known by Spain to be given to it, 
may retard the arrival of peace. If, instead of approaching Spain, with a 
diplomatic instrument, lulling her most serious apprehensions about Cuba, 
she were left to speculate upon all the possible dangers, from every quarter, 
which may assail her most important Colonial possession; and if, moreover, 
she were told by the three Powers, or by Great Britain and the United States, 
that, in the event of the people of Cuba declaring their independence, those 
Powers would guarantee it, she would be much more effectually awakened 
to a true sense of the perils to which perseverance in her present misguided 
policy might expose her. But if we are mistaken, — if the proposal of Mr. 
Canning would conduce to peace, by a suspension of hostilities, at least, as 
he supposes, there is no incompatibility between it and the previous attempt, 
on the part of this Government, to bring it about through the instrumentality 
of Russia, and the great maritime Powers of Europe, acting in concert with 
the United States. That attempt was founded on the belief that the exist- 
ing inducements of Spain to terminate the war, are of themselves abundantly 
sufficient, if the naked truth should be exposed to her under such united. 



DCX:UMENT 146: OCTOBER 1 7, 1 825 259 

and distinguished auspices. Mr. Canning's proposal proceeds upon the idea 
of the utiHty of qualifying some of the parties in this common exertion, more 
effectually to espouse the cause of peace, by so manifesting their forbearance 
and disinterestedness as to lead Spain to listen, without suspicion, to their 
councils. If it were deemed expedient to accede to his proposal, and he is 
right in believing it to possess any peace virtue, it may well stand along side 
of the measure of this Government, to which, in that view of it, it would 
prove auxiliary. 

There is another aspect of the British proposal in which it is viewed more 
favourably. The British Minister truly says that the United States cannot 
allow the occupation of Cuba by either Great Britain or France, and neither 
of those Powers would acquiesce in the occupation of it by the United States. 
If the acceptance of it would not, (and so we are inclined to think) operate 
as a new inducement to Spain to put an end to the war, it might have a 
quieting efTect among the great maritime powers themselves, by removing 
all causes of suspicion on the only subject which, in the existing state of the 
world, is likely to engage, materially, their solicitude, in regard to their own 
security. This is what is here understood to be the real object of the pro- 
posal. A declaration on the part of the Government of the United States 
that it will abstain from taking advantage of any of the incidents which 
may grow out of the present war, to wrest Cuba from Spain, is unnecessary, 
because their pacific policy, their known moderation, and the very measure 
which they have, already, voluntarily adopted, to bring about peace, are 
sufficient guaranties of their forbearance. From the amicable relations 
which, happily, exist between Great Britain and the United States, and the 
perfect union in their policy, in respect to the war between Spain and the 
new States, no apprehension can be felt that Great Britain will entertain 
views of aggrandizement in regard to Cuba, which could not fail to lead to 
a rupture with the United States. With respect to France, aware as her 
ministers must be that neither Great Britain nor the United States could 
allow her to take possession of Cuba, under any pretext, the hope is indulged 
that she will equally abstain from a measure, fraught with such serious con- 
sequences. Considering, however, the distracted condition of Spain, every 
day becoming worse and worse, and the intimate relations which subsist 
between the two branches of the House of Bourbon, it must be admitted 
that there is some cause of apprehension on the side of France. The fact 
of having given instructions to the Captain General of the French forces in 
the West Indies, to aid the Governor of Havanna to quell internal disturb- 
ance, proves that the French Government has deliberated on a contingent 
occupation of Cuba; and possession once gained, under one pretext, would 
probably be retained under the same pretext or some other. With the view, 
therefore, of binding France, by some solemn and authentic act, to the same 
course of forbearance which the United States and Great Britain have 



260 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

mutually prescribed to themselves, the President sees no great objection, 
at present, to acceding to one, or other, of the two alternatives contained in 
Mr. Canning's proposal. As information, however, is shortly expected from 
Russia, as to the manner in which the Emperor has received the invitation 
to employ his friendly offices to bring about a peace, no instruction will now 
be given you, as to the definitive answer to be communicated to the British 
Government. In the mean time, you are authorized to disclose to it the 
sentiments and views contained in this despatch. 
I am [etc.]. 



147 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to James Brown, United St-ates Minister to 

France ^ 

Washington, October 25, 1825. 

Sir: During the last summer a large French fleet visited the American seas 
and the coast of the United States. Its object naturally gave rise to much 
speculation. Neither here nor through you at Paris was the Government 
of the United States made acquainted with the views of that of France in 
sending out so considerable an armament. The President conceives it 
due to the friendly relations which happily subsist between the two nations, 
and to the frankness by which he wishes all their intercourse to be charac- 
terized, that the purpose of any similar movement hereafter, made in a season 
of peace, should be communicated to this Government. You will therefore 
inform the French Government of his expectation that such a communication 
will, in future, be accordingly made. The reasonableness of it, in a time of 
peace, of which France shall enjoy the blessings, must be quite apparent. 
The United States having, at the present period, constantly to maintain, in 
the Gulf of Mexico and on the coasts of Cuba and Porto Rico, a naval force 
on a service beneficial to all commercial nations, it would appear to be quite 
reasonable that, if the commanders of any American squadron, charged with 
the duty of suppressing piracy, should meet with those of a French squadron, 
the respective objects of both should be known to each. Another considera- 
tion to which you will advert, in a friendly manner, is the present condition of 
the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico. Theviewsof the Executive of the United 
States in regard to them have been already disclosed to France by you on 
the occasion of inviting its co-operation to bring about peace between Spain 
and her former colonies in a spirit of great frankness. It was stated to the 
French Government that the United States could not see, with indifference, 
those islands passing from Spain to any other European power; and that, 

^ American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V, 855. 



DOCUMENT 148: OCTOBER 26, 1 825 261 

for ourselves, no change was desired in their present political and commercial 
condition, nor in the possession which Spain has of them. In the same 
spirit, and with the hope of guarding beforehand against any possible diffi- 
culties on that subject that may arise, you will now add that we could not 
consent to the occupation of those islands by any other European power 
than Spain under any contingency whatever. Cherishing no designs on 
them ourselves, we have a fair claim to an unreserved knowledge of the views 
of other great maritime powers in respect to them. If any sensibility should 
be manifested to what the French minister may choose to regard as sus- 
picions entertained here of a disposition on the part of France to indulge a 
passion of aggrandisement, you may disavow any such suspicions, and say 
that the President cannot suppose a state of things in which either of the 
great maritime powers of Europe, with or without the consent of Spain, 
would feel itself justified to occupy or attempt the occupation of Cuba or 
Porto Rico without the concurrence or, at least, the knowledge of the United 
States. You may add, if the tenor of your communications with the French 
minister should seem to make it necessary, that, in the course of the past 
summer, rumors reached this country, not merely of its being the design of 
the French fleet to take possession of the island of Cuba, but that it had, in 
fact, taken possession of that island. If the confidence in the Government 
of France, entertained by that of the United States, could not allow it to 
credit these rumors, it must be admitted that they derived some countenance 
from the weakness of Spain, the intimate connexion between that monarchy 
and France, and the general ignorance that prevailed as to the ultimate 
destination and object of a fleet greatly disproportionate, in the extent of its 
armament, to any of the ordinary purposes of a peaceful commerce. 

You are at liberty to communicate the subject of this note to the French 
Government, in conference or in writing, as you may think most proper; 
but in either case it is the President's wish that it should be done in the 
most conciliatory and friendly manner. 

I am [etc.]. 



148 

Henry Clay, Secretary oj State, to Riifus King, United States Minister to 

Great Britain ^ 

Washington, October 26, 1825. 

Sir: Since the date of my note to you of the 17th- of the current month, 

your despatch No. 5, under date at London, on the 13th' of September, 

' MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, X, 405. 

'See above, doc. 146. 

' See below, pt. viii, doc. 839. 



262 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

has been received, with the accompanying Note of Mr. Canning, under date 
at Stons, on the 8th of the same month. It appears from his statement that 
the French Minister, after having encouraged the overture of the British 
Ambassador, in a manner which led him to believe that France would will- 
ingly concur in the proposed declaration respecting the Spanish Islands, has 
suddenly changed his language, and formally declined to accede to the 
proposal. Under these circumstances, and without waiting for the desired 
information from Russia, which is not yet received, it seems to the President 
to be altogether useless and improper for the Government of the United 
States to unite with that of Great Britain in repeating the proposal to France. 
With respect to the signature of such a declaration by the United States and 
Great Britain alone, for the reasons which are stated in my note of the 17th 
instant, it cannot be necessary. After the friendly and unreserved com- 
munications which have passed between the two Governments, on this 
subject, each must now be considered as much bound to a course of forbear- 
ance and abstinence, in regard to Cuba and Porto Rico, as if they had pledged 
themselves to it by a solemn Act. 

But, supposing the British Ambassador at Paris to have laboured under 
no misconception as to the encouragement which he supposes Count de 
Damas to have given, prior to his having formally declined to accede to the 
British proposal, the motives for obtaining from France some security for the 
observance of the same course of moderation which the United States and 
Great Britain have respectively prescribed to themselves, instead of losing 
any of their original force, have acquired additional strength. I have, 
therefore, by direction of the President, prepared an instruction for Mr. 
Brown, of which a copy is herewith transmitted, to inform the French 
Government, that, under no contingency, with, or without the consent of 
Spain, can the United States agree to the occupation of the Islands of Cuba 
and Porto Rico, by France. You are authorized to communicate its con- 
tents, by reading it, to Mr. Canning. If the British Government should 
direct its Ambassador at Paris, in like manner, to protest against France, 
under any circumstances, taking possession of those Islands, it can hardly 
be doubted that if she really has entertained any designs upon them, they 
will be abandoned. And the substantial object of the British Government 
will have been attained, and by means but little variant from those which 
it had devised. In coming to the determination to cause the above com- 
munication to be made to France, through the American Minister, the 
President has been influenced in a considerable degree, by a desire to corre- 
spond to the wishes of the British Government, which cannot fail to recog- 
nize, in that measure, a signal proof of the confidence and friendship of the 
Government of the United States. 

I have the honour [etc.]. 



DOCUMENT 150: DECEMBER 20, 1825 263 

149 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Hilario de Rivas y Salmon, Spanish Charge 
d' Affaires in the United States ^ 

Washington, December 15, 1825. 

Sir: Shortly after the receipt of the letter which, on the 22d. September ^ 
last, you did me the honor to address to me, instructions were transmitted to 
the respective law officers of this Government at Philadelphia and New York, 
to examine into the facts stated by you, and if they should find any of the 
acts to which they related were contrary to law or to the obligations of our 
neutrality, to institute the necessary legal proceedings to prevent or punish 
them. The answer from both those officers is in substance, that the circum- 
stances detailed by you, if established by competent proof, would not be 
contrary to law, and therefore that the parties concerned would not be ame- 
nable to the tribunals of the country. The President might have been con- 
tented with this answer, and refrained from giving any further orders in 
regard to the vessels alleged by you to be ultimately destined to be employed 
against Spain, in the existing war. But anxious to afford to the Govern- 
ment of that country a new proof of the earnest desire of this, scrupulously 
to fulfil all of its neutral duties, before I had the honor of receiving your note 
of the 29th. ulto. the President had caused the proper instructions to be 
transmitted to New York to require of the owners of the vessels which are 
said to be fitting out there for belligerent purposes to give bond with suffi- 
cient sureties that they shall not be employed to cruise or commit hostilities 
against any power with which the United States are at peace. 

I pray you to accept [etc.]. 



150 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Jose Maria Salazar, Colombian Minister 

to the United States^ 

Washington, December 20, 1825. 

Sir: During the last Spring I had the honor to state to you that the Gov- 
ernment of the United States had addressed that of Russia'' with the view 
of engaging the employment of its friendly offices to bring about a peace, if 
possible, between Spain and the new American Republics, founded upon the 
basis of their independence; and the despatch from this Department to the 
American Minister at St. Petersburg, having that object, was read to you. 
I have now the satisfaction to state that it appears, by late advices just 

' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 243. 

* Not included since its purport is clear from this reply. 

' Ibid.. 245. Virtually the same was addressed on the same day to the Mexican Minister. 

* See above, doc. 141, Clay to Middleton, May 10, 1825. 



264 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

received from St. Petersburg that this appeal to the Emperor of Russia has 
not been without good effect; and that there is reason to believe that he is now 
exerting his friendly endeavours to put an end to the war. The first would 
be naturally directed to his Allies, between whom and His Imperial Majesty 
it was desirable that there should be, on that interesting subject, concurrence 
of opinion and concert in action. Our information from Europe authorizes 
the belief that all the great powers are now favourably inclined towards 
peace, and that separately or conjointly, they will give pacific counsels to 
Spain. When all the difficulties exterior to Spain, in the way of peace, are 
overcome, the hope is confidently indulged that those within the Peninsula 
cannot long withstand the general wish. But some time is necessary for the 
operation of these exertions to terminate the war, and to ascertain their effect 
upon the Spanish Government. Under these circumstances the President 
believes that a suspension, for a limited time, of the sailing of the Expedition 
against Cuba or Porto Rico, which is understood to be fitting out at Cartha- 
gena, or of any other expedition which may be contemplated against either 
of those Islands by Colombia or Mexico, would have a salutary influence on 
the great work of peace. Such a suspension would afford time to ascertain 
if Spain, resisting the powerful motives which unite themselves on the side of 
peace, obstinately resolves upon a protraction of the war. The suspension is 
due to the enlightened intentions of the Emperor of Russia, upon whom it 
could not fail to have the happiest effect. It would also postpone, if not 
forever render unnecessary, all consideration which other powers may, by an 
irresistible sense of their essential interests, be called upon to entertain of 
their duties, in the event of the contemplated invasion of those islands, and 
of other contingencies which may accompany or follow it. I am directed, 
therefore, by the President to request that you will forthwith communicate 
the views here disclosed to the Government of the Republic of Colombia, 
which he hopes will see the expediency, in the actual posture of affairs, of 
forbearing to attack those islands until a sufficient time has elapsed to ascer- 
tain the result of the pacific efforts which the great powers are believed to be 
now making on Spain. 

I seize, with pleasure [etc.]. 



151 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Baron de Tuyll, Russian Minister to the 

United States ^ 

Washington, December 26, 1825. 

According to my promise made to you on Saturday last, I have the honor 
to transmit herewith an extract from an official note which on the 20th 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 247. 



DOCUMENT 152: DECEMBER 26, 1 825 265 

instant^ I addressed, by the direction of the President, to the Colombian 
Minister. A similar note was, at the same time addressed to the Mexican 
Minister. 

I avail myself [etc.]. 



152 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Henry Middleton, United States Minister 

to Russia 2 

Washington, December 26, 1825. 

Sir: Your despatches ^ (Nos. 48 and 49) have been duly received and sub- 
mitted to the President. He sees with much satisfaction that the appeal 
which has been made through you to the Emperor of Russia, to employ his 
friendly offices in the endeavor to bring about a peace between Spain and the 
new American Republics, has not been without favorable effect. Consider- 
ing the intimate and friendly relations which exist between the Emperor and 
his allies, it was perhaps not to be expected that, previous to a consultation 
with them, language more explicit should be held than that which is con- 
tained in Count Nesselrode's note. Although very guarded, it authorizes the 
belief that the preponderating influence of Russia has been thrown into the 
scale of peace. Notwithstanding the predictions of a contrary result, con- 
fidently made by Mr. Secretary Canning, this decision of the Emperor corre- 
sponds with the anticipations which have been constantly entertained here 
ever since the President resolved to invoke his intervention. It affords 
strong evidence both of his humanity and his enlightened judgment. All 
events out of Spain seem now to unite in their tendency towards peace; and 
the fall of the Castle of St. Juan d'Ulloa, which capitulated on the eighteenth 
day of last month, cannot fail to have a powerful effect within that Kingdom. 
We are informed that when information of it reached the Havana it produced 
great and general sensation ; and that the local Government immediately des- 
patched a fast sailing vessel to Cadiz to communicate the event, and, in its 
name, to implore the King immediately to terminate the war and acknowl- 
edge the new Republics, as the only means left of preserving Cuba to the 
Monarchy. 

In considering what further measures could be adopted by this Govern- 
ment to second the pacific exertions which, it is not doubted, the Emperor is 
now employing, it has appeared to the President that a suspension of any 
military expedition which both or either of the Republics of Colombia and 
Mexico may be preparing against Cuba and Porto Rico might have a good 
auxiliary influence. Such a suspension, indeed, seemed to be due to the 
friendly purposes of the Emperor. I have accordingly addressed official 

' See above, doc. 150. 

^ American Stale Papers, Foreign Relations, V, 850. 

*See below, pt. xn, docs. 1024 and 1026. 



266 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

notes to the ministers of those RepubHcs accredited here, recommending it to 
their Governments, an extract from one of which (the other being substan- 
tially the same) is herewith transmitted. You will observe it intimated in 
those notes that other Governments may feel themselves urged, by a sense of 
their interests and duties, to interpose in the event of an invasion of the is- 
lands, or of contingencies which may accompany or follow it. On this sub- 
ject it is proper that we should be perfectly understood by Russia. For our- 
selves, we desire no change in the possession of Cuba, as has been heretofore 
stated. We cannot allow a transfer of the island to any European Power. 
But if Spain should refuse to conclude a peace, and obstinately resolve on 
continuing the war, although we do not desire that either Colombia or Mexico 
should acquire the island of Cuba, the President cannot see any justifiable 
ground on which we can forcibly interfere. Upon the hypothesis of an un- 
necessary protraction of the war, imputable to Spain, it is evident that Cuba 
will be her only point d'appid in this hemisphere. How can we interpose, on 
that supposition, against the party clearly having right on his side, in order 
to restrain or defeat a lawful operation of war? If the war against the islands 
should be conducted by those Republics in a desolating manner; if, contrary 
to all expectation, they should put arms into the hands of one race of the in- 
habitants to destroy the lives of another; if, in short, they should countenance 
and encourage excesses and examples, the contagion of which, from our 
neighborhood, would be dangerous to our quiet and safety, the Government 
of the United States might feel itself called upon to interpose its power. But 
it is not apprehended that any of those contingencies will arise, and, conse- 
quently, it is most probable that the United States, should the war continue, 
will remain hereafter, as they have been heretofore, neutral observers of the 
progress of its events. 

You will be pleased to communicate the contents of this despatch to the 
Russian Government. And as, from the very nature of the object which has 
induced the President to recommend to the Governments of Colombia and 
Mexico a suspension of their expeditions against the Spanish islands, no def- 
inite time could be suggested for the duration of that suspension, if it should 
be acceded to, it must be allowed, on all hands, that it ought not to be un- 
necessarily protracted. Therefore, you will represent to the Government of 
Russia the expediency of obtaining a decision from Spain as early as possible 
in respect to its disposition to conclude a peace. 

I am [etc.]. 



DOCUMENT 153: JANUARY 9, 1 826 267 

153 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to John M. Forbes, United States Charge 
d' Affaires at Buenos Aires ^ 

Washington, January g, 1826. 

Sir: Your dispatches to No. 26, inclusively, with their several inclosures, 
have been safely received at this office. As it is not recollected that they 
call for any special instructions, I will only add, with respect to them, that, 
while they exhibit proof of great zeal on your part, in collecting interesting 
information, in reference to the Political condition of Buenos Ayres, the 
diligence and manner employed in presenting it to this Department give 
great satisfaction. 

During the last spring, Mr. Middleton, our Minister at St. Petersburg, was 
instructed^ by this Department, by direction of the President, to endeavour 
to engage the Russian Government, to contribute its best exertions towards 
terminating the existing contest between Spain and the ftew American Re- 
publics, upon the basis of their Independence; and I have the satisfaction to 
state to you that it appears by late advices from that Minister that the appeal 
which he had, accordingly, made to the Emperor of Russia, was received 
with much favour; and there is reason to believe that the Emperor is now 
exerting his friendly efforts to put an end to the war. Our information, 
moreover, authorizes the belief that all the great Powers of Europe [between 
whom of his allies, and the Emperor of Russia, there must be concurrence of 
opinion and concert in action, to effectuate this object] are disposed, sepa- 
rately, or conjointly, to give pacific counsels to Spain. Some time, however, 
is necessary for those exertions and sentiments to accomplish their desired 
effect; and in the mean while, the Ministers of Colombia^ and Mexico at 
this place, have been severally requested, by direction of the President, to 
procure, if possible, a suspension of any attack which may be meditated by 
either, or both, of their Governments upon the Islands of Cuba and Porto 
Rico, there appearing some reason to apprehend that a considerable naval 
Armament, collected at Carthagena, was destined for that service. This 
suspension seemed due to the enlightened intentions of the Emperor of 
Russia, whose mediation had been invoked by this Government, as well as to 
the circumstance that it would render unnecessary to other nations, and 
particularly to the United States, the delicate consideration which they 
might be otherwise called upon to entertain in reference to their essential 
interests, in the event of the attack or invasion in question. These gentle- 
men could do no more than answer that they would refer the matter to their 
respective Governments for their decision upon it. We owe it to the friendly 
relations between the United States and Buenos Ayres, and to the immediate 

' MS. Instructions to United States Ministers XI, I. The number 26 here acknowledged 
is not printed in this collection, since it is not sufficiently pertinent. The documents which 
are pcrlincnt will be found in pt. 11, below. 

* See above, doc. 141, Clay to Middleton, May 10, 1825. 

* See above, doc. 150, Clay to Salazar, December 20, 1825. 



268 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

interests of that State which they involve, that its Government should be 
made acquainted with these circumstances; and you will take an early op- 
portunity, therefore, of communicating them to it. 
I am [etc.]. 



154 

Henry Clay, Secretary oj State, to the United States House of Representatives ^ 

Washington, March 2g, 1826. 

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred, by the President, the 
resolution of the House of Representatives of the 27th March, 1826, request- 
ing him to transmit to that House certain parts of the correspondence be- 
tween the Department of State and the minister of the United States at 
Mexico, and to communicate certain information therein mentioned, has the 
honor to report: 

That no answer was transmitted from this Department to the letter of 
Mr. Poinsett, No. 22, under date at Mexico, of the 28th September, 1825;'^ 
that No. 18, from Mr. Poinsett, under date of the 13th of the same month, 
and No, 22, relate to the same subject ; the first stating the obstacle which had 
occurred to the conclusion of the commercial treaty in the pretension brought 
forward by Mexico to grant to the American nations of Spanish origin 
special privileges which were not to be enjoyed by other nations; and the 
second narrating the arguments which were urged for and against it in the 
conferences between Mr. Poinsett and the Mexican ministers; that No. 22 
was received on the 9th of December last, and the answer, of the 9th of 
November, 1825, from this Department to No. 18, having been prepared and 
transmitted, superseded the necessity, as was believed, of any more particular 
reply to No. 22. 

That extracts from the general instructions to Mr. Poinsett, under date 
the 25th March, 1825,^ are herewith reported, marked A; that the United 
States have contracted no engagement, nor made any pledge to the Govern- 
ments of Mexico and South America, or to either of them, that the United 
States would not permit the interference of any foreign power with the in- 
dependence or form of government of those nations, nor have any instruc- 
tions been issued authorizing any such engagement or pledge. It will be seen 
that the message of the late President of the United States of the 2d of 
December, 1823,^ is adverted to in the extracts now furnished from the in- 
structions to Mr. Poinsett, and that he is directed to impress its principles 

^ American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V, 908. 

' None of the communications mentioned in this paragraph are printed in this collection, 
since they relate as here appears, to commercial matters. 

' For the portions of these instructions pertinent to the present collection, see above, doc. 
135. Their date, according to the record copy in the archives of the Department of State, 
and also the original in the archives of the Embassy in Mexico City, is March 26. 

* See above, doc. 125. 



DOCUMENT 155: MARCH 30, 1 826 269 

upon the Government of the United Mexican States. All apprehensions of 
the danger to which Mr. Monroe alludes, of an interference by the allied 
powers of Europe to introduce their political systems into this hemisphere, 
have ceased. If, indeed, an attempt by force had been made by allied Eu- 
rope to subvert the liberties of the southern nations on this continent, and to 
erect upon the ruins of their free institutions monarchical systems, the people 
of the United States would have stood pledged, in the opinion of their Execu- 
tive, not to any foreign State, but to themselves and to their posterity, by 
their dearest interests and highest duties, to resist to the utmost such at- 
tempt; and it is to a pledge of that character that Mr. Poinsett alone refers. 

That extracts from a despatch of Mr. Poinsett, under date the 21st August, 
1825, marked B, are also herewith reported, relating to the movements of the 
French fleet in the West India seas during the last summer; that his previous 
letter, to which he refers, on the same subject, with the accompanying papers, 
is accidentally mislaid, and cannot, therefore, now be communicated, which 
is less regretted because the information contained in that now reported, it is 
presumed, will be entirely satisfactory. 

All which is respectfully submitted. 



155 

President John Quincy Adams to the United States House of Representatives, 

relative to instructions to Ministers of the United States and concerning any 

pledge given on the part of the Government to Mexico and South A merica ^ 

Washington, March jo, 1826. 
To THE House of Representatives of the United States: 

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 
27th instant, requesting a copy of such parts of the answer of the Secretary of 
State to Mr. Poinsett's letter to Mr. Clay, dated Mexico, September 28, 
1825, No. 22, as relates to the pledge of the United States therein mentioned; 
and also requesting me to inform the House whether the United States have, 
in any manner, made any pledge to the Governments of Mexico and South 
America; that the United States would not permit the interference of any 
foreign power with the independence or form of government of those nations; 
and, if so, when, in what manner, and to what effect; and also to communi- 
cate to the House a copy of the communication from our minister at Mexico, 
in which he informed the Government of the United States that the Mexican 
Government called upon this Government to fulfil the memorable pledge of 
the President of the United States, in his message to Congress of December, 
1823, I transmit to the House a report- from the Secretary of State, with 
documents containing the information desired by the resolution. 

' American Slate Papers, Foreign Relations, V, 907. 
* See above, doc. 154. 



270 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

156 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Jose Maria Salazar, Colombian Minister 

to the United States^ 

Washington, April 11, 1826. 

Sir : I have received and submitted to the President the official note which 
you addressed to me on the 19th ultimo, ^ and by his direction I have now the 
honor to transmit this answer. 

You have been already apprized, and Mr. Anderson has also communi- 
cated at Bogota to your Government, that a negotiation was, in May last, 
authorized to be opened with Russia, having for its object the termination of 
the existing war between the new American Republics and Spain, upon the 
basis of an acknowledgment of their Independence. About the same time 
instructions were given to the Ministers of the United States at the courts of 
London and Paris to engage them to co-operate in the accomplishment of the 
same object: And Mr. Everett, our Minister at Madrid, was also directed to 
lose no suitable occasion to inculcate on the Councils of Spain the utility of 
formally concluding a war, which had substantially come to an end, in con- 
sequence of the entire inability of Spain to prosecute it any longer, with the 
smallest prospect of success. The overture to Russia was well received ; and 
there is reason to believe that the European alliance has become satisfied, and 
through the interposition of the late Emperor Alexander, will advise Spain 
that her true interest, under actual circumstances, as well as that of human- 
ity, calls aloud for peace — Great Britain entirely concurs in the necessity of 
it — Spain alone, it is believed, of all the Powers, at the date of our last des- 
patches from Madrid, had not yet yielded to the force of events, which have 
forever separated her from her former colonies. 

In employing the good offices of the United States in the endeavour to pre- 
vail upon Spain to agree to a suspension of hostilities, for a limited term, ac- 
cording to the request contained in your note, the President sees only a con- 
tinuation, in effect, of the negotiations already commenced — An armistice for 
ten or twenty years would, in fact, be one of the modes of effectuating the 
purpose of those negotiations. I am therefore directed by the President to 
say, that instructions shall be given to the Minister of the United States at 
Madrid to endeavour to prevail upon the Government of Spain to agree to a 
suspension of hostilities for a limited time, and upon the conditions, as stated 
in your note. Viewing the relative means on the part of Spain to defend, and 
those of Colombia, Mexico and the Central Republic, to attack the Islands of 
Cuba and Porto Rico, and the Marianos, and, moreover, that during the 
operation of the proposed armistice, if it shall be concluded, the power of the 
Republics will increase in a ratio probably much greater than that of Spain, 
it may be well for Colombia to consider whether the condition ought to be in- 

' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 258. 
"^ See below, pt. vi, doc. 654. 



DOCUMENT 157: APRIL 1 3, 1826 27I 

sisted upon, that Spain shall not, whilst the armistice continues, augment her 
forces in those islands — On whatever terms it may be found practicable to 
put an end to hostilities, it will be a source of satisfaction, if Spain, declining 
to assent to peace, as heretofore recommended by the President, should even 
listen to that modification of it, which is now proposed by your Government; 
and the gratification of the United States will be greater, if their Government 
shall be in any way instrumental in bringing about an event so desirable. 
Accept [etc.]. 



157 

Henry Clay, Secretary of Stale, to Alexander H. Everett, United States Min- 
ister to Spain ^ 

Washington, April ij, 1826. 

Sir: I transmit, herewith, a copy of the answer of Count Nesselrode^ 
to the overture through Mr. Middleton which was authorized by my des- 
patch of the loth day of May 1825,' of which you are in possession of a 
copy. From a copy of Mr. Middleton's Letter to me, now also forwarded, 
you will perceive that he thinks a more favourable effect was produced by 
that overture on the Russian Government than the terms of Count Nessel- 
rode's answer would strictly import. Mr. Middleton's interpretation, in 
that respect, of the views of Russia has been sustained and strengthened 
by the Russian Minister, the Baron de Tuyll, in several interviews which 
I have had with him. As we have not heard through you, or from any 
other source, of any attempt at Madrid, on the part of the Russian Govern- 
ment, to enforce on Spain pacific counsels, we should be disposed to question 
the correctness of the opinion of Mr. Middleton, but from considerations 
arising out of the journey commenced during last summer, by the late 
Emperor, and his subsequent death. That unexpected and lamented 
event has produced, at St. Petersburg a state of things, to an account of 
which Mr. Middleton's late despatches have been exclusively confined. 
As the Emperor Nicholas has announced his intentions to follow in the 
footsteps of his predecessor, we may conclude that he will co-operate in 
bringing about a peace, if possible, between Spain and the new Republics, 
unless we have been misinformed by Mr. Middleton and Baron Tuyll. 

On the 20th day of last December,"' I addressed a note to each of the 
ministers from Colombia and Mexico, a copy of which is now forwarded, for 
the purpose of prevailing upon their respective Governments to suspend 
any expedition which both or either of them might be fitting out against 

* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, XI, 21. 

* See below, pt. xn, doc. 1025, Nesselrode to Middleton, Aug. 20, 1825. 
' See above, doc. 141. 

*See above, doc. 150. 



272 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

the Islands of Cuba and Porto Rico. The President considered the suspen- 
sion might have a favourable effect upon the cause of peace, and it was also 
recommended by other considerations. We have not yet been officially 
informed of the result of the application, but it was made under auspicious 
circumstances, and there is reason to believe that it will be attended with 
the desired effect. You will avail yourself of this measure to impress upon 
Spain the propriety of putting an end to the war, and urge it as a new proof 
of the friendly dispositions of this Government. 

In respect to Cuba and Porto Rico, there can be little doubt, if the war 
were once ended, that they would be safe in the possession of Spain. They 
would, at least, be secure from foreign attacks and all ideas of Independence 
which the inhabitants may entertain, would cease with the cessation of the 
state of war which has excited them. Great Britain is fully aware that the 
United States could not consent to her occupation of those Islands, under 
any contingencies whatever. France, as you will perceive by the annexed 
correspondence with Mr. Brown and with the French Government, also well 
knows that we could not see, with indifference, her acquisition of those 
Islands. And the forbearance of the United States in regard to them, may 
be fully relied on, from their known justice, from their patience and modera- 
tion heretofore exhibited, and from their established pacific policy. If the 
acquisition of Cuba were desirable to the United States, there is believed to 
be no reasonable prospect of effecting, at this conjuncture, that object. 
And if there were any, the frankness of their diplomacy, which has induced 
the President freely and fully to disclose our views both to Great Britain 
and France, forbids, absolutely, any movement whatever, at this time, with 
such a purpose. This condition of the great maritime Powers (the United 
States, Great Britain and FVance) is almost equivalent to an actual guaranty 
of the Islands to Spain. But we can enter into no stipulations, by Treaty, 
to guaranty them. And the President, therefore, approves your having 
explicitly communicated to Spain that Ave could contract no engagement to 
guaranty them. You will continue to decline any proposal to that effect, 
should any such, hereafter, be made. 

I received a note from Mr. Salazar the Colombian Minister, under date 
the 19th ulto.,^ to which an answer was returned on the nth instant,^ of 
both of which, copies are herewith transmitted. The purport of his note 
was to engage the good offices of this Government in the endeavour to pre- 
vail upon Spain to agree to an armistice, on the terms specified, with the 
new Republics. The President has acceded to the wishes of Colombia as 
you will observe in my reply. And I am directed by him to instruct you, 
if peace be unattainable, to press on Spain the expediency of consenting to a 
suspension of hostilities. The circumstances enumerated by Mr, Salazar 
clearly indicate the necessity of peace itself, and, of course, comprehend the 
1 See below, pt. vi, doc. 654. ^ See above, doc. 156. 



DOCUMENT 158: APRIL 21, 1 826 273 

weaker measure of an armistice. To that enumeration may be added the 
fact of the intelligence just received here in apparently an official form, of the 
fall of the Castle of Callao; and the information which we have also received 
that Chili has sent forth a powerful expedition under the command of her 
President in person, against the Archipelago of Chiloe, which has prob- 
ably, before this time, been reduced by the arms of that Republic. 

I shall address a Letter to you, in a short time, pointing out several 
objections to the project of a convention which you have submitted to the 
Duke del Infantado. In the mean time, 

I am [etc.]. 



158 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Henry Middleton, United States Minister 

to Russia^ 

[extract] 

Washington, April 21, 1826. 

We have not yet heard of the definitive decision of the Republics of 
Colombia and Mexico, on the application made to them, respectively, by 
this Government, to suspend any expedition meditated against the Spanish 
Islands of Cuba and Porto Rico. A principal object of that suspension, you 
will recollect, was to afTord time to ascertain the effect produced on Spain, 
of the operation of those pacific Counsels which we were led to brlieve the 
late Emperor would give at the instance of this Government. The necessary 
time for that purpose, has been in fact gained, whatever their decision may 
be, and no expedition is yet understood to have sailed from the Ports of 
either of them, against those Islands. You will, therefore, represent to the 
Russian Government the just expectation which, after all that has happened, 
is entertained by the President, that they will use their best exertions to 
hasten the conclusion of peace. We have not been informed, from Madrid, 
of any efforts on the part of Russia to that end. In truth, the tenour of 
Mr. Everett's despatches is, that the Russian Minister accredited to Spain, 
has employed no activity in the cause of peace, if he has not lent his counte- 
nance to the further prosecution of the war. Whatever, in that respect may 
have been his conduct, no favourable change has yet been wrought on the 
Spanish Government, which, at our last dates from Madrid, does not appear 
to have been prepared to resolve on peace. You will ascertain from the 
Russian Government what has been done by it on that subject, if any 
thing, and what it conceives to be the prospects in future. You will have 
received information of the surrender to the Alexican Republic of the 
1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, XI, 24. 



274 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

Castle of St. Juan de Ulloa. I have now to add that of the fall of the Castle 
of Callao, which capitulated to the arms of Colombia and Peru, and the 
reduction, by those of Chili, of the Archipelago of Chiloe, of which intelli- 
gence has just reached us. Thus the predictions contained in my note of 
the loth of May last, continue to be progressively verified, and the war is 
every day more and more changing its character, and becoming, as to Spain, 
altogether defensive. That with respect to Cuba and Porto Rico remains 
to be fulfilled, but its ultimate accomplishment, and that at no very distant 
day, is inevitable, in the course of events, if the war is not ended. 

The new Republics, far from being intoxicated by their signal successes, 
appear to desire peace more and more, as they multiply. I received from 
the Colombian Minister an official Note, under date the 19th Ultimo,^ 
requesting the good offices of this Government to procure a suspension of 
hostilities for a term of ten or twenty years. By the direction of the Presi- 
dent, I returned an answer, acceding to the request, if peace should be un- 
attainable in a more acceptable form; and on the 13th day of this month,^ 
I addressed a Note to Mr. Everett instructing him to urge Spain to agree 
to the proposed armistice, if she were not prepared to subscribe to a general 
peace on the basis of acknowledging the Independence of the new Republics. 
I now transmit you copies of these three several notes, with the direction 
of the President that you will invite the co-operation of Russia to put an 
end to hostilities, in this limited form, if the object shall have been found, 
in the mean time, unpracticable on that more extensive basis. 



159 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Baron de Maltitz, Russian Charge d' Affaires 

in the United States ^ 

Washington, May 26, 1826. 

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you enclosed, to be forwarded to 
your Government, a copy of an official note addressed by Mr. Ravenga,* 
the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia to Mr. Anderson, 
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States 
near that Republic. From the perusal of that note, it will be seen that the 
Government of Colombia accedes to the request, made by this Government, 
in the note addressed to Mr. Salazar under date the 20th day of December 

1 See below, pt. vi, doc. 654. 

2 See above, doc. 157. 

3 MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 270. Baron de Maltitz, secretary of legation of 
Russia in the United States: Acted as charge d'affaires ad interim from March 14, 1826, to 
December 20, 1827. 

*See below, pt. vi, docs. 655 and 653, Anderson to Clay, March 19, 1826, and its en- 
closure, Ravenga to Anderson, March 17, 1826. 



DOCUMENT l60: OCTOBER 25, 1826 275 

last,* of which an extract was furnished by me to the late Baron de Tuyll, 
that any expedition destined against the Spanish Islands of Cuba and 
Porto Rico might be suspended to afford time to ascertain the result of the 
pacific counsels which the Russian Government was expected to employ with 
Spain. The Republic of Colombia has given, in this instance, fresh proof 
of its desire of peace, and of the respectful consideration which it entertains 
for the friendly intentions of Russia. 
I profit of this occasion [etc.]. 

160 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Jose Maria Salazar, Colombian Minister 

to the United States^ 

Washington, October 25, 1826. 

Sir: I have the honour to acknowledge the due receipt of your Note under 
date the 29th. Ulto.^ at New York, communicating to the Government of the 
United States information, and certain acts of the Executive Government of 
Colombia, in regard to the painful events which occurred in the Department 
of Venezuela in the month of April of the present year. 

The Government of the U. States takes the most sincere and lively interest 
in all that concerns the repose and prosperity of the Republic of Colombia. 
The President heard therefore of those events with deep and unaffected 
regret. And he anxiously hopes that the measures which have been adopted 
by the Government of Colombia to repress the Military insurrection, which 
you describe, may be attended with the happy effect of preserving the 
authority of the Constitution and Laws, and at the same time, of averting 
the Calamity of a Civil War. 

With respect to the particular object of your Note that of communicating 

the fifth Article of the decree of the 8th. of July last, promulgated by your 

Government, by which it declares the irresponsibility of the Republic of 

Colombia for losses and damages which may be sustained by citizens of 

Foreign Nations, in consequence of the disorders which unhappily prevail in 

Venezuela, the President hopes that no loss or damage to any Citizen of the 

United States will accrue from those disorders. But if any such loss or 

damage has accrued or should arise, he cannot admit that the Government 

of Colombia would not be responsible for it. And the right is, therefore, 

expressly reserved to prefer any claim to which those disorders may give 

birth. As the discussion of such a claim at this time might be of an abstract 

question, it is postponed until the necessity for entering upon it shall be 

known. 

I pray you to accept [etc.]. 

' See above, doc. 150. 

' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 298. 

' Not printed in this collection. 



276 PART l: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

161 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Don Jose Maria Salazar, Colombian Min- 
ister to the United States^ 

Washington, October 31, 1826. 

Sir: I regret that circumstances of which you are well apprized, have 
prevented an earlier acknowledgment of the Note which you did me the 
honour to address to me on the loth. of July last.^ The delay has, however, 
afforded to the President an opportunity of more deliberately considering 
its interesting contents, and forming that decision on the proposal of your 
Government which I have now to communicate. 

The interest which the Republic of Colombia takes in the termination of 
the war between the Brazils and Buenos Ayres is honourable to her human- 
ity. The Government of the United States has seen, with regret, the com- 
mencement, and would behold, with great satisfaction, the conclusion of 
that war. The differences between the Belligerents were not of a nature to 
justify the wasting, in a premature and useless war, those exertions and 
resources which would be better employed in establishing and strengthening 
their respective infant institutions. But the war, in fact, exists, and the 
question is, what are the best means to put an end to it? The proposal of 
your Government is, that a joint mediation should be offered by the United 
States, Colombia and Great Britain. The formal offer of such a mediation, 
without having any intimation from either belligerent that it would be 
acceptable, might not conduce to the object desired, unless the mediating 
powers were prepared, which they are supposed not to be, to coerce by force 
of arms compliance with the conditions which they might agree to prescribe. 
We have no communication, from either of the parties to the war, that our 
interposition to bring about a peace would be agreeable. Without, there- 
fore, deciding how far it might, at any time, be expedient to offer, on an 
American subject and to American powers, a joint mediation composed 
partly of an European State and partly of American Nations, the President 
thinks that, under present circumstances, such a mediation as is supposed to 
be contemplated is of too doubtful advantage to warrant the United States 
to become a party to it. But you will assure the Government of Colombia 
that the respective Ministers of the United States, at Buenos Ayres and Rio 
Janeiro, will be instructed to afford their good offices, and to offer those of 
the United States, in putting an end to a war so injurious in its example and 
so pernicious in its consequences to the American hemisphere. 

I avail myself of this occasion [etc.]. 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 304. 
2 Not printed in this collection. 



DOCUMENT 162: NOVEMBER 6, 1826 277 

162 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to James Cooley, appointed United States 

Charge d' Affaires in Peru^ 

[extract] 

Washington, November 6, 1826. 

It should be a leading and constant object of your attention to obtain, and 
communicate to this Department, by every opportunity of conveyance, that 
may occur, information as well respecting the physical condition of the 
Country, as the political and moral character of its institutions and inhab- 
itants. The geographical boundaries of the Republic, its connexions with 
Mexico, Colombia, the Republic of Bolivia, and Chili ; the present state of 
its Government, Revenue, Army and Navy; its prospect of forming a per- 
manent Republican Constitution ; the produce of its mines now and formerly; 
and the state of its relations with European Powers, will all form important 
matters of enquiry and investigation. You will especially observe the 
Country with reference to its present or future capabilities of a commerce 
mutually advantageous to the United States and to Peru, and communicate 
the result of your observations. We should like, also, to possess accurate 
information as to the actual condition of the Aborigines within the limits of 
the Republic. Have they made any, and what, advances in civilization? 
Are they governed by their own laws, or by those of the Vice Royalty, 
formerly, and of the Republic, now? Or partly by one code and partly by 
the other? Have they any civil rights or privileges secured to them, and do 
they take any, and what part in the government of the Republic? Have 
they a taste for, and a sense of, the value of, property? Has any progress 
been made in their conversion to the Christian Religion? What have been, 
and now are, the means employed to civilize them? 

You will avail yourself of every suitable occasion to impress the Govern- 
ment of the Republic of Peru with the friendly dispositions entertained 
towards it by that of the United States. You will answer in the most frank 
and full manner, all enquiries touching the practical operation of our Con- 
federacy, or any of our institutions. And you should cautiously abstain 
from treating with disrespect whatever you may remark to be peculiar in 
the habits of the people of Peru, civil or religious. 

^ MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, XI, 180. James Cooley, of Pennsyl- 
vania: Commissioned charge d'affaires to Peru, May 2, 1826. Died at his post, Feb- 
ruary 24, 1828. 



278 PART I: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

163 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Baron de Maltitz, Russian Charge d' Affaires 

in the United States^ 

Washington, December 23, 1826. 

The Undersigned, Secretary of State of the United-States, in acknowl- 
edging the receipt of the Note of Baron de Maltitz, Charge d'Affaires of His 
Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of all the Russias, under date the 30th. day 
of November last,^ cannot deny to himself the pleasure of repeating, in 
writing, the expression which he has already had the honour to make 
verbally, in an interview with the Baron, of the high satisfaction which the 
President has derived from a perusal of the above Note and of the late 
despatches, relating to the subject matter of it, received from the Minister 
of the United States at the Court of St. Petersburg. It is peculiarly grati- 
fying to the Government of the United States to find that the Successor of 
their illustrious and lamented Friend cherishes towards them the same senti- 
ments of respect and esteem which he ever entertained, and of which he gave 
many signal proofs, and that he concurs in his enlightened views on the great 
question of pacification between Spain and her former American Colonies. 
Such an unbroken continuity of the policy adopted by the Emperor Alex- 
ander greatly abates the force of the shock which the recent dispensation of 
Providence otherwise would have inflicted. 

The President never, from the moment of the receipt of the Note of Count 
Nesselrode under date the 20th. day of August in the last year,^ permitted 
himself to doubt the sincerity of the late Emperor's desire that peace should 
be concluded between Spain and the new American States, nor that he would 
employ, in such manner as might appear to him most proper, his best 
endeavours to bring about that happy event. Information from Madrid 
did, at one time, create some apprehensions that the humane intentions of 
the Emperor Alexander were not seconded with sufficient zeal by his Min- 
ister at that Capital; but these apprehensions have been dissipated by the 
assurances which have been received from Baron de Maltitz. 

The wishes of the United States in regard to Cuba and Porto Rico remain 

unchanged. They desire no disturbance of the possession of Spain, believing 

it most compatible with the interests and harmony of all the great powers. 

They would see any such disturbance, at the instance and by the arms of 

any power, with great regret. The new States have hitherto forborne, and 

that principally in deference to the declared desire of the United-States and 

Russia, to attack those islands. Whilst, on the other hand, Spain, instead 

of listening to the councils of peace and moderation which the hopelessness 

alone of the War ought to have inspired, has sent forth, from the post of 

' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 316. 

"^ See below, pt. xii, doc. 1035. 

* See below, pt. xn, doc. 1025, enclosed with Middleton to Clay, August 27, 1825. 



DOCUMENT 164: JANUARY 9, 1 827 279 

Havanna, a formidable fleet for the manifest purpose of invasion or other 
hostile operation against the territories of some of the new States. It was 
dispersed and disabled in a storm; but neither the frowns of Providence, the 
distractions at home, nor the disasters which await her, in a further prose- 
cution of the war, appear yet to have awakened that unfortunate Monarchy 
to a sense of the absolute necessity of terminating the existing hostilities. 

Although the Government of the United-States is extremely unwilling to 
see any attempt made, from any quarter, to wrest from Spain the possession 
of those islands, and may yet continue to employ their exertions to prevent 
it, the Undersigned is constrained, in frankness, to repeat what has been 
already communicated to the Government of Russia, that if Spain shall still 
unnecessarily prolong the war, and drive the new States to the necessity of 
conquering peace in Cuba and Porto Rico, the Government of the United 
States could not justly interpose, unless a character should be given to the 
war of invasion which would render it, in reference to their own duties and 
interests, improper that they should remain neutral spectators. 

But the President sees with great pleasure the determination of the Em- 
peror Nicholas, as announced by Baron de Maltitz, to persevere in his 
efforts to prevail upon Spain to comprehend, in the actual posture of affairs, 
that her true interests are on the side of peace. And he cannot but persuade 
himself that those efforts will be crowned with complete success, and that the 
answer required by His Imperial Majesty from the Court of Madrid to the 
overtures for the conclusion of the war, either in the form of a treaty of 
peace or an Armistice — an answer which the President will continue most 
anxiously to expect — will be auspicious to the friends and hopes of humanity. 

The Undersigned seizes this occasion [etc.]. 



164 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Jose Maria Salazar, Colombian Minister 

to the United States^ 

Washington, January g, 1827. 

Sir: I have the honour to transmit to you for the information of your 
Government, Extracts from despatches which have been received at this 
Department from the Ministers of the United States at the Courts of St. 
Petersburg and Madrid, a copy of a Note from Mr. Middleton to Count 
Nesselrode, a copy of a note from the Duke del Infantado to Mr. Everett and 
copies of two notes which have passed between the Baron de Maltitz, the 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 321. The record does not enable one to identify 
exactly these extracts; but see above, Clay's notes to the Russian charge and below, pts. xii 
and XIII. 



280 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

Russian Charg6 des Affaires and myself, all relating to the subject of Peace 
or an Armistice between the new American Republics and Spain. If we are 
not authorised to conclude, from these documents, that there will be a speedy 
termination of the existing hostilities, they at least justify a strong hope that 
an event so desirable can not be much longer delayed. And they prove that 
the reigning Emperor of Russia has succeded to the enlightened views which 
his illustrious predecessor entertained on that important question. These 
documents further substantiate the friendly interest which the United States 
have never ceased to take and the happy results of their interposition with 
European Powers, in the cause of pacification. The Government of the 
United States will continue to employ to that end their good offices. And 
the President indulges the anxious wish that Spain will finally at some early 
day yield to the united cooperation, and the combined motives which press 
upon her to put an end to the further unnecessary continuation of the War. 
I pray you [etc.]. 



165 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to JosS Maria Salazar, Colombian Minister 

to the United States^ 

Washington, January 75, 182^. 

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the loth. 
instant,^ stating the capture of the Colombian privateer, the Zulme, by the 
Spanish Vessel the Mars, and another Spanish Brig, within the jurisdictional 
limits of the United States, and claiming the restoration of the Privateer and 
her crew. No other information of the capture has been received at this 
Department; but that which you have communicated has been deemed 
sufficient to lay the foundation of a demand upon the Spanish Government' 
for the restoration of the Privateer and her crew. And I have accordingly, 
by the directions of the President, instructed Mr. Everett, the Minister of 
the United States, at the Court of Madrid, formally to make that demand. 
You must, however, be sensible, Sir, that the proof of the alleged facts, 
resting as it now does solely upon the ex-parte statement of the Captain of 
the Privateer, which is not even verified by oath, will not be deemed sufficient 
to make out the case, I have therefore to request that you will furnish au- 
thentic and complete evidence verifying the illegality of the Capture. I 
avail myself of this occasion to tender you assurances [etc.]. 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 324. 

* Not printed in this collection. 

'See below, pt. i, doc. 166, Clay to Vives, February 12, 1827. 



DOCUMENT l66: FEBRUARY 12, 1827 281 

166 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Francisco Dionisio Vives, Governor and 

Captain General of Cuha^ 

Washington, February 12, 1827. 

Sir: A complaint has been received at this Department from the Minister 
of the RepubHc of Colombia, of the capture of the Colombian Schooner 
Zulme, within the jurisdictional limits of the United States, The capture is 
alleged to have been made on the 30th day of May of the last year by two 
Spanish armed Brigs, between Logger Head Key and, Newfound Harbour, 
five miles to the South East of Key Lobo, on the Coast of Florida, the 
Schooner being at anchor within the reef in about three fathoms water. 
The Captors are stated afterwards to have carried their prize to the Ha- 
vanna, where she yet is, and where the Crew is kept in confinement. Upon 
this state of the case the Colombian Minister accredited to this Government 
has demanded, in the name of his own, the restitution of the Zulme and her 
Crew, together with damages for the capture and detention. The United 
States being desirous to maintain, with perfect impartiality, the state of 
neutrality in which they stand to the belligerents, feel themselves called 
upon by all the obligations which it imposes, as well as by the duty of vin- 
dicating their own violated territory, to cause full reparation to be made, 
should the facts as stated turn out to be true. Mr. Everett has been ac- 
cordingly instructed to make the proper representations at Madrid. In the 
mean time, much delay may be avoided, if your Excellency should see fit 
to interpose your authority to cause the restoration and indemnity due to 
the occasion to be at once made. The repeated manifestations which you 
have given of your desire to preserve the amicable relations between the 
United States and Spain, have induced the President to direct that this 
application should be addressed directly to you, in the hope that, being 
enabled to satisfy yourself on the spot of the irregularity of the capture, you 
will forthwith direct the Schooner and her Crew to be restored, with such 
damages as belong to the justice of the case. 

I avail myself of this occasion [etc.], 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 326. 



282 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

167 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Daniel P. Cook, United States Confidential 

Agent to Cuba^ 

Washington, March 12, 1827. 

Sir: The very great interest which the United States have in the future 
fortunes of Cuba, and the present dangers to which that Island is exposed 
from foreign attack, as well as from internal commotion, render it expedient 
that this Government should have some confidential agent on the spot, 
who can communicate from time to time whatever may be likely to afifect 
its condition. The President entertaining a high opinion of your prudence, 
patriotism and ability, was desirous to avail the public of your services on 
this occasion, and therefore directed me to propose the commission to you. 
Having determined to accept it, you will be pleased to proceed without 
unnecessary delay, to the Havana, from such port of the United States as 
may appear to you most convenient and agreeable. It is deemed best that 
your agency should not be publicly known, as by keeping it secret, you will 
be more able to penetrate the views and designs of parties and persons, and 
collect that information which we desire to possess. But a commission is, 
nevertheless, herewith, transmitted to be used, if necessary, for the protec- 
tion or safety of your person, or in any emergency in which it may appear to 
you to be proper to exhibit it; and a cypher is, likewise, sent, with directions 
for its use, to be employed in your despatches whenever you may deem it 
advisable. 

The objects to which you will particularly direct your attention, and on 
which it is desirable to obtain all the information that may be practicable, 
are: 

1st. The state of the population of the Island, exhibiting the relative 
members of the various Castes, their dispositions towards each other, educa- 
tion, intelligence etc. 

2nd. The condition of its agriculture, extent of foreign commerce, and 
proportion of good land yet waste and in cultivation. 

3d. The state of political parties in the Island, their views with regard to a 
continuation of their existing connexion with Spain, or in favor of Independ- 
ence, or towards the new American Republics; and, especially, whether a 
preference exists, and on what account, for one of those Republics, and an 
aversion towards another of them. We have understood here, that a party 
in the Island is anxious that it should be connected with Mexico, and that a 
great repugnance exists among the inhabitants to any connection with 
Colombia. 

4th What are the Spanish means of resisting an attack, should one be 
made, by the combined or separate forces of Colombia and the United 

* MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, XI, 267. 



DOCUMENT 167: MARCH 12, 1 827 283 

Mexican States? Would they find any succour or co-operation in the Island, 
and to what probable extent? 

5th What are the Spanish means of resistance, naval and military, if 
war should be the issue of her present relations with Great Britain; and the 
latter should attack Havana? And what are the dispositions of the in- 
habitants towards a colonial connexion with Great Britain? 

In particularizing these objects, it is not intended to exclude others which 
may present themselves to you. On the contrary, the President desires 
any sort of information which may tend to the formation of a correct estimate 
of the value of the Island, its resources, natural and artificial, its capacity 
to maintain its independence, or to resist any foreign attack with which it 
may be menaced, and the dispositions and wishes of its inhabitants in respect 
of the continuance of its colonial condition, to independence, or to a con- 
nexion with any, and which, of the new Republics. 

The design of your agency being exclusively that of collecting and trans- 
mitting information to this Government, you will keep yourself aloof from, 
and entirely unconnected with, any of the parties within the Island. It 
does not enter into the policy or views of the Government of the United 
States, to give any stimulus or countenance to insurrectionary movements, 
if such be contemplated by any portion of its inhabitants — Our position 
being that of peace with Spain, and neutrality in the existing war between 
her and the new American Republics, fixes our duties in reference to any 
commotions which may be either meditated, or, in fact, may arise in the 
Island. And if they should happen to be of a character, or to take a turn, 
which would require of the United States, from the relations in which they 
stand to the Island, to interpose their power, it will be time enough for the 
Government here, to consider and decide the nature of their intervention, 
when the exigency arises. 

Your allowance will be at the rate of four thousand five hundred Dollars 
per annum, to commence from the time of your departure from this city, 
to proceed to a port of embarkation. As to the duration of the service, no 
time can be prescribed for it, at present. It will last until the occasion which 
has suggested it shall cease. 

In addition to the above, an allowance will be made to you of a sum equal 
to your travelling expenses hence to the port of embarkation, of your passage 
thence to the Havana, of your passage back to the United States from Cuba, 
and of your expenses from the port of your debarkation in the United States, 
to your home. The sum of one thousand Dollars is advanced to you upon 
account. 

I am [etc.]. 



284 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

168 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Francisco Dionisio Vives, Governor and 

Captain General of Cuba ^ 

Washington, March 14, 1827. 

Sir: The Honble Daniel P. Cook, late a Member of the House of Repre- 
sentatives of the United States from the State of Illinois who will deliver 
you this Letter, being advised by his Physicians to try the effect of a sea 
voyage and the climate of Cuba upon the very delicate state of his health, 
I beg leave to recommend him to your kindness and hospitality during his 
abode on the island of Cuba. The President has thought it expedient, to 
avail himself of the opportunity of Mr. Cook's visit to the Havannah to 
charge him confidentially with a commission ,2 in the execution of which I 
have also to request such aid as Your Excellency may think proper to give. 
Your Excellency need not now be told of the frankness and impartiality 
which have constantly characterized the Government of the United States, 
during the whole of the war between Spain and her late Colonies; nor is it 
necessary to remind you of the explicit and repeated declarations of the 
wishes of the Executive of the United States that the actual posture of things 
in regard to Cuba should not be disturbed. The solicitude which the United 
States naturally feel in the preservation of the present condition of that 
island is greatly increased by the doubtful aspect of the relations between 
Spain and Great Britain. And it would tend to quiet our apprehensions if 
we were assured that the means of defense which the island of Cuba possesses 
are adequate to repel any attack that may possibly be made either by any 
European power or by the new States of America. The object therefore of 
the commission with which Mr. Cook is charged is to ascertain as far as it 
may be deemed proper the capabilities of the island to resist any such attack, 
and also information on any collateral points which may assist us in forming 
an accurate judgment on the degree of safety and security which the island 
actually enjoys. Your Excellency will fully appreciate the motives which 
influence the President in instituting this enquiry, and I hope will feel your- 
self authorized to cause any facilities in your power to be afl"orded to Mr. 
Cook in the accomplishment of the above commission. 

I seize with pleasure, this occasion [etc.]. 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 330. 
^ See above, doc. 167. 



DOCUMENT 170: MAY 21, 1 82 7 285 

169 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Josi Maria Salazar, Colombian Minister 

to the United States^ 

Washington, March 20, 1827. 

Sir: I have the Honor, in reference to the subject of the Note which I 
received from you, under date the 5th. of January last,^ which contained a 
complaint of the capture of the Colombian Schooner Zulme within the terri- 
torial limits of the United States by two Spanish armed Brigs, which sent 
the captured Vessel into the port of Havanna, to transmit to you, herewith, 
the Copy of a Letter which I wrote to General Vives, Governor and Captain 
General of the Island of Cuba on the 12th. of last month,^ requesting him, 
if he should see fit, to cause the schooner in question and her Crew to be 
restored, with such damages as might be found to belong to the justice of 
the case, to avoid the delay which would necessarily attend the application 
for the same purpose which Mr. Everett is instructed to make directly to 
the Spanish Government. 

Whilst I pray you to excuse the accidental delay which has occurred in 
answering your Note, you will readily perceive, in the steps which have been 
taken in the matter to which it relates, a new proof of the friendly solicitude 
of this Government, to maintain and cherish the amicable relations subsisting 
between it and the Republic of Colombia. 

I offer anew, Sir [etc.]. 



170 

Henry Clay, Secretary oj State, to Pablo Obregon, Mexican Minister to the 

United States^ 

Washington, May 21, 182/. 

Sir: Commodore Porter, in the service of the United Mexican States, with 
the Mexican Squadron under his command, has been, as you are no doubt 
aware, some time in the port of Key W^est, an appendage of East Florida. 
From the remote situation of that port, and the almost uninhabited condition 
of the Island, the Government here has not been always regularly advised of 
the movements of Commodore Porter's Squadron. His entry into the port 
was supposed to be for the purpose of that hospitality, which the United 
States are ever ready to dispense alike to the public Vessels of all friendly 
foreign Countries; and his subsequent detention in it was supposed to be in 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 335. 

* Not printed in this collection. 
' See above, doc. 166. 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 357. 



286 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

consequence of the presence of a superior Spanish force, which rendered his 
egress hazardous. But information has recently reached this Department, 
that Commodore Porter is avaihng himself of his position to increase his 
force, and to send out cruizers to annoy the Spanish Commerce. Such a 
belligerent use of a port of the United States is contrary to that state of 
known neutrality in which they stand in respect to the existing war between 
Mexico and Spain. Whilst the Government of the United States is ever 
ready and anxious to fulfil all the obligations of the most liberal hospitality, 
they cannot allow any departure within their jurisdiction from the line of a 
strict and impartial neutrality. 

I am directed therefore by the President to request that you will adopt 
such measures as may appear to you proper to prevent any act or proceeding 
on the part of Commodore Porter, in violation of the neutrality of the 
United States. 

I pray you to accept [etc.]. 



171 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Hilario de Rivas y Salmon, Spanish Chargi 
d' Affaires in the United States ^ 

Washington, June g, 1827. 

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Note of the 31st. 
ultimo, which I have submitted to the President of the United States. 

Without entering into the general discussion of the principles which should 
regulate the conduct of a neutral Nation, during a state of war, which may 
unhappily exist between other Nations — a discussion which does not appear 
to me to be necessary at this time, I will limit myself to a few general 
observations. 

The United States have been most anxious, during the whole course of 
the war between Spain, and the Southern Republics, strictly to perform 
towards each party all the duties of an impartial neutrality. The Govern- 
ment of this Union has never willingly permitted a violation of any of those 
duties. If there has been any such violation, it has not been with the con- 
sent or knowledge of the Government. Should any instances have never- 
theless happened, it ought to be recollected, on the other hand, that the 
United States have had much cause to complain of injuries inflicted by the 
Belligerents on their lawful commerce; and sometimes of violation of their 
territorial jurisdiction. A recent instance of want of respect to that juris- 
diction occurred on the same Coast of Florida to which you refer, in the 
capture of the Colombian Schooner the Zulme by two armed vessels in the 
service of the King of Spain. And to this day we have no information that 
' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 365. 



DOCUMENT 171: JUNE 9, 1827 287 

any punishment has been inflicted by Spain on the persons thus invading our 
territorial rights, or any indemnity awarded to the parties who suffered in 
consequence thereof. 

With respect to the vessels, built within the United States, which are 
referred to in your two notes of the 22d. September and 29th. November 
1825, they did not leave our ports armed and equipt for hostile action. And 
it is remarkable that at the very moment when the precautionary measure 
was adopted in the United States of placing those vessels under bond, that 
very measure was suggested by the Duke del Infantado the Spanish Minister 
of Foreign Affairs to the Minister of the United States at the Court of 
Madrid, as one that would be proper, and satisfactory to the Government 
of Spain. 

If vessels have been built in the United States and afterwards sold to one 
of the belligerents and converted into Vessels of War, our Citizens engaged 
in that species of manufacture have been equally ready to build and sell 
Vessels to the other belligerent. In point of fact both belligerents have 
occasionally supplied themselves with Vessels of War from Citizens of the 
United States. And the very singular case has occurred of the same Ship- 
builder having sold two Vessels, one to the King of Spain, and the other to 
one of the Southern Republics, which Vessels afterwards met and encoun- 
tered each other at Sea. 

During a state of war between two Nations the Commercial industry and 
pursuits of a Neutral Nation are often materially injured. If the neutral 
finds some compensation in a new species of industry which the necessities of 
the belligerents stimulate or bring into activity it cannot be deemed very 
unreasonable that he should avail himself of that compensation, provided he 
confines himself within the line of entire impartiality, and violates no rule of 
public law. 

The article in the treaty of 1795, between the United States and His 
Catholic Majesty cited by you does not apply to such a service as that in 
which Commodore David Porter has engaged under the Government of the 
United Mexican States. That article prohibits any Citizen Subject or in- 
habitant of the United States to apply for or take any Commission or Letters 
of Marque for arming any Ship or Ships to act as privateers against the sub- 
jects of His Catholic Majesty "or the property of any of them, from any 
Prince or State with which the said King shall be at War". Commodore 
Porter is not known to have applied for or taken any Commission or Letter 
of Marque from the Government of Mexico, for arming any Ship or Ships to 
act as privateers against the subjects of his Catholic Majesty, or their prop- 
erty. He is understood to* have entered the public Naval Service of that 
Government, and that is not prohibited by the treaty. But even if he had 
incurred the penalty of piracy, which is denounced by the same article of the 
treaty, it cannot be admitted that the United States are bound to seize and 



288 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

punish him. Should he be taken a captive by Spain, it will belong to her to 
consider whether he is comprehended or not in that provision of the treaty. 

The refuge which Commodore Porter has taken in the port of Key West 
was not desired by the Government of the United States. He sought it to 
escape from the danger of a Superior force, and to enjoy that hospitality 
which the United States dispense equally to all friends and which would be 
satisfactorily rendered to a Squadron of his Catholic Majesty, under analo- 
gous circumstances. The fact of his long continuance there the Government 
of the United States supposed attributable to the presence of that Superior 
force, which if it has as you state, proceded to Blockade the port of Key 
west, has undertaken what it had no right to do by the public law. 

Key west as you well know, is one of the remotest points of our Southern 
frontier. It is but thinly peopled. This Government has no force there. 
Information from it is not very regularly received. Reports having however 
reached Washington that some of the proceedings of Commodore Porter at 
Key West might not be considered as strictly compatible with the neutrality 
of the United States, prior to the receipt of your note, a representation to 
that effect was made from this Department to the Mexican Minister who, in 
answer, gave the strongest assurances that due respect should be paid to the 
neutrality of the United States. I have the honor to transmit to you here- 
with a Copy of a Letter from the Collector of that port addressed to Commo- 
dore Laborde, from a perusal of which you will perceive that nothing has 
been done within the knowledge of that officer by Commodore Porter, con- 
trary to our neutral obligations. And this statement of the Collector is 
corroberated by the testimony of Lieut. Thompson furnished by yourself, in 
which he states that the authorities at Key West were ignorant of the expedi- 
tion which was placed under his command. 

If the force of Commodore Porter, while his Squadron has been at Key 
West, has been augmented, if he has availed himself of that position to send 
out Cruizers for the purpose of annoying the Spanish Commerce, and cap- 
turing Spanish Vessels, and returning into port with them, and if he has 
undertaken to sell his prizes in that port, he has abused the hospitality of the 
United States. 

Assuming the accuracy of the documents transmitted by you to this De- 
partment, which we have no reason to doubt, Commodore Porter has made a 
belligerent use of that station, which he ought not to have done. This being 
the first authentic information which we have received of his illegal conduct, 
I have the satisfaction to inform you that prompt and efficient measures will 
be taken to cause the neutrality of the United States to be duly respected by 
Commodore Porter's squadron in the port of Key West. 

We have no information whatever of i6o Seamen having been sent from 
the port of New York to strengthen the force of Commodore Porter, other 
than that which is contained in your Note; and we cannot but believe that 



DOCUMENT 172: OCTOBER 3I, 1827 289 

there is some mistake, in that respect, on the part of the Spanish Consul who 
communicated the statement to you. 

With respect to the demand which you make that the Bonds which have 
been taken from the Owners of Vessels, that they should not employ them 
against any power with which the United States are at peace, the President 
would direct the necessary prosecutions to be instituted against the obligors, 
if we possessed any evidence of the breach, of their obligations; and if you will 
furnish such evidence, or inform us where it can be procured by reasonable 
efforts, the prosecutions will be accordingly ordered. But the mere fact of 
the employment of any such Vessels by the Enemies of Spain, in belligerent 
operations, would not of itself be sufficient to subject the obligors to a for- 
feiture of their bonds. They did not bind themselves that, at no future time 
indefinitely, after they had, by a bona fide transfer, of their Vessels, lost all 
control over them, should they be employed, in the possession of others, 
against a friend of the United States. They were bound for their own good 
conduct, not for the acts of others. 

I pray you to accept [etc.]. 



172 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Chevalier Francisco Tacon, Spanish Min- 
ister Resident to the United States ^ 

Washington, D. C. October 31, 1827. 

Sir: I have submitted to the President of the United States the Letter 
which you did me the honor to address to me on the 5th. instant. Having 
conveyed the first information which was received at this Department of the 
equipping of the Corvette Kensington, in the port of Philadelphia, shortly 
after the receipt of it, an inquiry was directed into the condition and circum- 
stances of that Vessel, and the proper Law Officer of the Government was 
instructed, if they were found to be such as were prohibited by Law, to 
institute the requisite prosecutions. An order has been issued from the 
proper Department to the Collector of the Port of Philadelphia, to require 
of her owner or Consignees, if necessary, bond, with sufficient sureties, in 
conformity with the provisions of the Act of Congress of the 20th. April, 
18 1 8, that the Vessel shall not be employed by the Owners to cruize or com- 
mit hostilities against any Nation with which the United-States are in peace. 

Perhaps I ought to content myself with the above statement, as presenting 

a sufficient answer to your Note. But the Government of the United States, 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 396. Francisco Tacon, minister resident of Spain 
in the United States: Presented credentials, July 25, 1827. Presented credentials as envoy 
extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, November 11, 1833. Died in Philadelphia, 
June 22, 1835. 



290 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

participating most sincerely in the desire expressed by you, that all causes of 
complaint which might impair the friendly relations happily subsisting be- 
tween the two countries, should be removed, or satisfactorily explained, I 
will add a few general observations. 

It is certain that the United States from their proximity to the theatre of 
the existing war between Spain and the Southern Republics, offer in their 
commerce, their manufactures, and their navigation, greater facilities to its 
prosecution than any other nation. This Government has nevertheless, 
been most anxious that neither party should draw from the United States any 
resources contrary to the public Law, and to the duties of an impartial neu- 
trality. Nor can it be admitted that the efforts of the Federal Government, 
to prevent the violation of neutral obligations, have been ineffectual. Of the 
aids which the fair commerce of the United States supplies, both belligerents 
have occasionally taken free advantage. If the Citizens of the United States 
had sold objects of their legitimate commerce and industry to one party, and 
refused a sale of similar objects to the other party, there would have existed 
just ground of complaint. But no such partiality has been practised. 

With respect to the particular article of Ships, as stated in the Letter which 
I had the honor of addressing to your predecessor, under date the 3d. day of 
June last, both Spain and some of the Southern Republics are believed to 
have freely availed themselves of the industry and commerce of the people of 
the United States in the procurement of them. Nor is it believed that the 
public Law or usuage among Nations is opposed to the sale of ships, as an 
object of commerce to either belligerent. 

Ship Building is a great branch of American Manufactures, in which the 
Citizens of the United States may lawfully employ their capital and industry. 
When built, they may seek a market for the article in foreign ports as well as 
their own. The Government adopts the necessary precaution to prevent any 
private American Vessel from leaving our ports equipped and prepared for 
hostile action; or, if it allow, in any instance, a partial or imperfect arma- 
ment, it subjects the owner of the vessel to the performance of the duty of 
giving bond, with adequate security, that she shall not be employed to cruize 
or commit hostilities against a friend of the United States. 

It may possibly be deemed a violation of strict neutrality to sell to a bel- 
ligerent, vessels of war completely equipped and armed for battle: and yet 
the late Emperor of Russia could not have entertained that opinion, or he 
would not have sold to Spain during the present war, to which he was a 
neutral, a whole fleet of Ships of War, including some of the line. 

But if it be forbidden by the Law of neutrality to sell to a belligerent an 
armed vessel completely equipped and ready for action, it is believed not to 
be contrary to that Law to sell to a belligerent a vessel in any other state, 
although it may be convertible into a ship of war. 

To require the Citizens of a neutral power to abstain from the exercise of 



DOCUMENT 172: OCTOBER 31, 1827 29I 

their incontestable right to dispose of the property which they may have in 
an unarmed ship to a belHgerent, would, in effect be, to demand that they 
should cease to have any commerce, or to employ any navigation, in their 
intercourse with the belligerent. It would require more — it would be neces- 
sary to lay a general embargo, and to put an entire stop to the total commerce 
of the neutral with all nations. For if a ship, or any other article of manu- 
facture, or commerce, applicable to the purpose of war, went to sea at all, it 
might, directly or indirectly, find its way into the ports, and subsequently 
become the property, of a belligerent. 

The neutral is always seriously affected in the pursuit of his Lawful com- 
merce by a state of war between other powers. It can hardly be expected 
that he shall submit to a universal cessation of his trade, because, by possi- 
bility some of the subjects of it may be acquired in a regular course of busi- 
ness by a belligerent, and may aid him in his efforts against an enemy. If 
the neutral show no partiality; if he is as ready to sell to one belligerant as the 
other; and if he take, himself, no part in the war, he cannot be justly accused 
of any violation of his neutral obligations. 

So far as an investigation has been yet made, it has not resulted in the 
ascertainment of the fact stated by you, that the Kensington belongs to the 
Mexican Government. On the contrary, it appears that she is the property 
of American Citizens, built with their capital, and by their industry. They 
affirm that they neither have engaged, nor intend engaging, a single sailor to 
man her for any other purpose than that of peaceful commerce. 

The alleged inefficiency of the bonds which have been exacted of the 
Owners or Consignees of vessels, according to the enactment of the act of 
Congress of the 20th. April, 1818, to accomplish the purpose for which they 
were executed, cannot be admitted. If in any instance, those bonds have 
been violated, it is unknown to the Government of the United States. And 
if you will communicate any evidence, or information by which evidence may 
be acquired to establish the fact that the obligors have deviated from their 
obligation, in any case, a prompt enforcement of it will be ordered. 

Such, Sir, is a candid exposition of the views and principles which have 
guided the Government of the United States, I cannot doubt that it will be 
received by His Catholic Majesty as a further evidence of the fairness and 
justice which the United States have uniformly observed throughout the 
whole progress of the present unhappy War. 

I avail myself of this occasion [etc.]. 



292 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

173 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to John M. Forbes, United States ChargS 

d' Affaires at Buenos Aires ^ 

Washington, January j, 1828. 

Sir: I should have, long since, noticed the subject which formed the princi- 
pal topic of your conference with the President of the Argentine Republic, in 
August of the year before last (a minute of which, together with your cor- 
respondence on the same subject, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of that 
Republic is transmitted with your despatch No 40-) if the arrival of a 
Minister from Buenos Ayres had not been expected. In both the minute 
and the correspondence above referred to, it is stated that such a minister 
was about to be sent to the United States; but as he has not arrived, and as 
we have heard nothing, of late, about him, I will not longer delay communi- 
cating to you the views which are entertained by the President of the United 
States, on the two enquiries with which Mr. de la Cruz concludes his note to 
you. Those enquiries relate to the declaration of the late President of the 
United States, contained in his message to Congress, of the 2d. December 
1823, against the interference of Europe with the affairs of America. At the 
period of that declaration, apprehensions were entertained of designs, on the 
part of the Allied Powers of Europe to interfere, in behalf of Spain, to reduce 
again to subjection, those parts of the Continent of America which had 
thrown off the Spanish yoke. The declaration of the late President was that 
of the head of the Executive Government of the United States. Although 
there is every reason to believe that the policy which it announced was in 
conformity with the opinion both of the nation and of Congress, the declara- 
tion must be regarded as having been voluntarily made, and not as conveying 
any pledge or obligation, the performance of which foreign nations have a 
right to demand. When the case shall arrive, if it should ever occur, of such 
an European interference as the message supposes, and it becomes conse- 
quently necessary to decide whether this country v/ill or will not engage in 
war, Congress alone, you well know, is competent, by our Constitution, to 
decide that question. In the event of such an interference, there can be but 
little doubt that the sentiment contained in President Monroe's message, 
would be still that of the People and Government of the United States. 

We have much reason to believe that the declaration of Mr. Monroe had 
great, if not decisive, influence, in preventing all interference, on the part of 
the Allied Powers of Europe to the prejudice of the new Republics of America. 
From that period down to the present time, the efforts of the Government of 
the United States have been unremitted to accomplish the same object. It 
was one of the first acts of the present administration to engage the head of 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, XII, 49. 

2 See below, pt. ii, doc. 312, Forbes to Clay, September 5, 1826. 



DOCUMENT 173: JANUARY 3, 1 828 293 

the European Alliance, the late Emperor Alexander, to employ his good 
offices to put a stop to the further effusion of human blood, by the establish- 
ment of a peace between Spain and those new Republics. Entering fully 
into the views of the United States, he did give his advice, to that effect, to 
the Spanish Government. His successor, the Emperor Nicholas, is known to 
march in the same line of policy which was marked out by his illustrious 
brother. 

Not long after President Monroe's declaration, Great Britain took the 
decided step of acknowledging the independence of several of the new Re- 
publics. More recently France, and other European Powers, have given 
indications of their intention to follow the example of the United States. 

It may then be confidently affirmed that there is no longer any danger 
whatever of the contingency happening, which is supposed by Mr. Monroe's 
message, of such an interference, on the part of Europe, with the concerns of 
America, as would make it expedient for the Government of the United 
States to interpose. 

In respect to the war which has unhappily been raging between the Ar- 
gentine Republic, and the Emperor of Brazil, the President has seen it with 
great regret, and would be very glad to hear of its honorable conclusion. 
But that war cannot be conceived as presenting a state of things bearing the 
remotest analogy to the case which President Monroe's message deprecates. 
It is a war strictly American in its origin and its object. It is a war in which 
the Allies of Europe have taken no part. Even if Portugal and the Brazils 
had remained united, and the war had been carried on by their joint arms, 
against the Argentine Republic, that would have been far from presenting 
the case which the message contemplated. But, by the death of the late 
King of Portugal, there has been a virtual separation between the Brazils and 
Portugal, and during the greater part, if not the whole, of the period of the 
war, the condition of Portugal has been such as to need succor, rather than be 
capable of affording it to the Brazils. 

The general policy of the United States is that of strict and impartial 
neutrality in reference to all wars of other Powers. It would be only in an 
extreme case that they would deviate from that policy. Such a case is not 
presented by the present war. 

You will communicate in the most friendly manner, the substance of this 
despatch to the Government near which you reside. 

I am [etc.]. 



294 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

174 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to J. Rafael Revenga, Colombian Secretary of 

State for Foreign Relations^ 

Washington, January 30, 1828. 

Sir: I have received the Letter which your Excellency did me the honor 
CO address to me, on the 25th. of September of the last year,^ by the direc- 
tions of the Liberator President on his assumption of the exercise of the 
National Executive power of the Republic of Colombia. The object of 
your Excellency's letter is to explain to the satisfaction of the Government 
of the United States the reasons which induced the publication at Caracas 
of a communication from Mr. Watts, Charge d'Affaires of the United-States 
near the Republic of Colombia. 

There is no one point in the foreign relations of the United States about 
which their Government has ever been more solicitous, than that of scru- 
pulously avoiding all interference in the internal affairs of another nation. 
This rule of conduct, which has been invariably observed by the Govern- 
ment of the United States, is founded upon the double motive of self respect, 
and respect for foreign powers. As we could ourselves tolerate no inter- 
ference in our affairs by any foreign power, we suppose no foreign power 
would admit of any interference, on our part, in its affairs. 

The communication of Mr. Watts, to which Your Excellency refers, was 
made without instruction ; and the first information of it which reached the 
Government of the United States, was received through the channel of the 
public prints. In making that communication Mr. Watts was no doubt 
actuated by a zealous interest which he took in the affairs of Colombia, and 
he was probably also influenced by the laudable object of healing, rather 
than exciting, intestine divisions. Your Excellency does the Government 
of the United States no more than justice in supposing that it takes a deep 
concern in whatever relates to the prosperity of the Republic of Colombia. 
It has, consequently, seen, with regret, late events occurring within the 
bosom of that Republic, whose tendency appeared to be to impair its happi- 
ness; and it hails with joy the restoration of a more auspicious state of 
things. Although the Government of the United States cherishes these 
sentiments, it could not have allowed itself to take any part in the internal 
transactions of Colombia the proper estimate of which belongs exclusively 
to her own Government and people. 

Whilst I feel that the occasion calls for these explanations, I take great 
pleasure in being the organ of expressing the satisfaction of the President 
of the United States with the reasons assigned in Your Excellency's Letter 
for the publication of Mr. Watts' communication. One half of the objec- 
tion to that communication is removed by the ascertainment of the fact that 

' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, III, 421. 
* Not printed iu this collection. 



DOCUMENT 175: APRIL II, 1 828 295 

it gave no dissatisfaction to the Government of the Republic of Colombia, 
and with respect to the other half relating entirely to the United States, the 
President is disposed to overlook it, under all the circumstances of the case. 
With assurances of the most sincere and undiminished friendship, on the 
part of the United States, for the Republic of Colombia, I beg leave [etc.]. 



175 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Francisco Tacon, Spanish Minister Resident 

to the United States^ 

Washington, April ii, 1828. 

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Note of the 26th. 
ultimo,^ transmitting a copy of the representation addressed to you by the 
Captain General of the Island of Cuba, in relation to the capture of the 
Spanish hermaphrodite brig Reyna Amelia, off the port of Matanzas, by a 
Mexican vessel of war, and subsequently brought into the port of Keywest. 
You demand a surrender of the prize, as having been illegally captured, and 
you allege that the shelter which has been afforded her in an American port 
is an additional proof that the neutrality of the United-States is not such 
as is defined by the Law of Nations, nor that which is required by treaties: 
and that all its advantages as practised in the United States, are in favor 
of the enemies of the King of Spain. 

If the prize in question had been captured within the jurisdiction of the 

United-States, the President would not hesitate to direct its restoration to 

its lawful Spanish owners: but it appears to have been taken on the high 

seas, or, at least, without the jurisdiction of the United States. In entering 

the port of Keywest nothing more has been done, or will be permitted, in 

relation to this prize, than, under analogous circumstances, would be allowed 

in regard to a prize taken by a Spanish vessel, and brought into the same 

port. Neither the Reyna Amelia, nor any of the prize goods which she may 

have on board, will be permitted to be sold or otherwise disposed of, in the 

United States: but the departure of both will be required. It is very possible 

that some irregularities may have been committed on the Coast of Florida 

by both belligerents. The Government of the United States has given no 

sanction to any such irregularities; and whenever they have occurred, has 

seen them with regret. It has had occasion, recently, to demand of the 

Government of Spain, a surrender of the Colombian private armed schooner 

Zulme, captured by Spanish Cruisers on the same Coast of Florida, within 

the jurisdiction of the United States, and I am sorry to be obliged to inform 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, IV, 8. 
' Not printed in this collection. 



296 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

you that that demand remains yet to be compUed with. You must be 
sensible that the best title which His Majesty, the King of Spain, can have 
to an enforcement, in his behalf, of the neutrality of the United States, 
would be derived from the respect to the same neutrality which he may 
exact from those acting in authority under him. 

In the instance of the Reyna Amelia, as she has merely sought that 
asylum which is equally granted to both parties, and as no sale or disposi- 
tion of the Vessel or Cargo will be allowed, no violation of the public law, 
nor of the obligation of existing treaties, can be admitted. 

I avail myself [etc.]. 



176 

Henry Clay, Secretary oj State, to Pablo Ohregon, Mexican Minister to the 

United States^ 

Washington, May i, 1828. 

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Note of the i8th. 
ultimo,^ in relation to the Mexican brig of War Hermon, and her prize, the 
Spanish privateer brig Reyna Amelia, in the port of Key West. You state 
that the Mexican brig captured her prize oflf Matanzas, and that being at 
the time in sight of the Enemy's Cruisers, and his prize being in the impos- 
sibility of proceeding further, in consequence of the results of the engage- 
ment, he had towed her into the port of Key West: that Captain Hawkins 
applied to the Collector of that port, representing the impossibility of the 
prize proceeding to a Mexican port without the necessary repairs, and ask- 
ing permission to make them, and for that purpose, to sell a part of the Car- 
go to defray expenses: That the Collector refused permission to make the re- 
pairs, on the ground that the Mexican brig had violated the neutrality of the 
United-States, and stated that if the prize remained in port she would be 
placed in the custody of the customhouse officers, at the disposition of the 
President of the United States: That Captain Hawkins proceeded, notwith- 
standing, to repair his prize, which was opposed by the Collector upon the 
same ground of violation of the neutrality of the United-States, and for the 
further reason that Captain Hawkins had disobeyed the verbal and written 
orders which he had received not to dispose of the prize: And that the Col- 
lector subsequently directed the seizure of the prize, ordered her sails to be 
unbent, and the Mexican flag to be taken down, and Captain Hawkins to 
leave the port with the Brig Hermon. Against this conduct of the Collector, 
it appears that Captain Hawkins protested. 

' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, IV, 22. Pablo Obregon, envoy extraordinary and 
minister plenipotentiary of Mexico to the United States: Presented credentials, November 
18, 1824. Died at Legation, September 10, 1828, having committed suicide. 

* Not printed in this collection. 



DOCUMENT 176: MAY I, 1 828 297 

From information received from the Collector it appears that Captain 
Hawkins had previously made a use of the hospitality granted him and the 
brig Hermon in the port of Key West, inconsistent with the neutrality of the 
United States: that he had appeared to regard it for all the purposes of bel- 
ligerent operations against the commerce of Spain, as a Mexican port, issuing 
out of it for the purpose of annoying that commerce, and returning to it at 
pleasure: that he had brought prizes into it, taken from Spain, and had ran- 
somed some of them within the port; and that he had supplied himself prior 
to the cruize which terminated in the capture of the Reyna Amelia, with 
Cannon shot procured in the port of Key West. 

This is not the first instance of an abuse of the privileges of the hospi- 
tality of the United States by Mexican armed Vessels in the same port. Its 
situation is such as to afford great facilities to the Mexican armed vessels in 
committing depredations upon Spanish Commerce without oflfering corre- 
sponding advantages to the other belligerent. Without regard to that in- 
equality the Government of the United States has been sincerely disposed to 
perform, towards both belligerents, all the offices of hospitality enjoined by 
humanity and the public law, and consistent with their friendship to both. 
But it can permit neither, under allegations of distress, whether feigned or 
real, to perform acts incompatible with a strict and impartial neutrality. It 
may become the Government of the United States seriously to consider 
whether it ought not to apply the only effectual remedy for preventing irreg- 
ularities by excluding the armed vessels of both belligerents and their prizes 
from the port of Key- West, which offers so many temptations to the viola- 
tion of the neutrality of the United States. It appears from the statement 
which you have yourself presented, that Captain Hawkins in defiance of the 
authority of the Collector, proceeded to repair his prize and remained in 
port with the brig Hermon, after he had been required to depart. 

Under all the circumstances of the case, the President does not feel it in- 
cumbent upon him to direct the delivery of the prize to Captain Hawkins. 
But deems it proper to leave the question to be settled by the proper judi- 
cial tribunals, which are competent to afford adequate redress to Captain 
Hawkins if he has been really injured. Those tribunals will decide whether 
there has been any such violation of the laws and neutrality of the United 
States as to make it the duty of their Government to withhold the surrender 
of the prize. 

With respect to the lowering of the Mexican flag, that was the mere conse- 
quence of the forfeiture and seizure of the prize. It was not intended, and 
ought not to be regarded as manifesting any disrespect or indignity to the 
fiag or Government of the United Mexican States. 

The laws of the United States do not admit of the sale, within their juris- 
diction, for any purpose, of prize goods taken by one belligerent from another 
and brought into their ports. This Government does not take jurisdiction 



298 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

at all upon the question of prize or no prize, but leaves that question, ex- 
clusively to the cognizance of the tribunals of the respective belligerents. 
Whether, therefore, the capture of the Reyna Amelia was complete or not 
when she entered the port of Key West, there was no right to sell any portion 
of her cargo, at least prior to a regular condemnation. 

I have the honor to transmit you, herewith, a copy of a Treasury Circular 
long since issued and published — in which the course of policy pursued to- 
wards belligerents is distinctly announced. 

I avail myself [etc.]. 



177 

Daniel Brent, Chief Clerk of the Department of Slate, to Francisco Tacon, 
Spanish Minister Resident to the United States^ 

Washington, August 2, 1828. 

Sir: I duly received your Letter of the 28th. of J une,^ addressed to the Sec- 
retary, stating that it had come to the knowledge of your Government that 
Commodore Porter, of the Mexican Navy, had published a decree, command- 
ing that all neutral vessels, having on board Spanish property, or articles 
contraband of war, should be detained, and the said property, or articles con- 
fiscated ; and that you had received instructions from your Government to 
represent to this, that His Catholic Majesty would be compelled to adopt 
reciprocal measures with regard to the vessels of this Union, if this Govern- 
ment did not cause its flag to be respected in the matter referred to; and in 
the absence of Mr. Clay, I submitted your Letter to the President, I am di- 
rected by him now to inform you, as I have the Honor of doing, that no time 
was lost on the part of this Government, after the appearance of the decree 
in question, in remonstrating with that of Mexico, against its principles and 
legality, and that there is reason to believe that the Government of Mexico 
will not enforce it, with regard to vessels of the United States. 

I pray you, Sir, [etc.]. 



178 

Daniel Brent, Chief Clerk of the Department of State, to Francisco Tacon, 
Spanish Minister Resident to the U^iited States^ 

Washington, September 20, 1828. 

Sir: In the continued absence of the Secretary of State, I had the honor 

to receive the Note which you addressed to him, under date the 15th. in- 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, IV, 46. 

^ Not printed in this collection. 

' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, IV, 61. 



DOCUMENT 179: October 14, 1828 299 

stant,* stating that Captain Fournier in command of the Corvette Bolivar 
and of several other Vessels under Buenos Ayrean Colours, had anchored in 
Long Pond near New York, where he was engaged in recruiting seamen; — 
and that you had been moreover informed that a Vessel was fitting out at 
Baltimore under the direction of Captain Cotherell, to be employed as a pri- 
vateer against the subjects of His Catholic Majesty, — and requesting that 
proper measures might be adopted to prevent and punish these infractions 
of the neutrality of the United States. 

I will lose no time, upon Mr. Clay's return to the Seat of Government, in 
laying your Note before him; and in the mean-while, I take great pleasure in 
stating for your information, that I have submitted it to the President, who 
has caused such orders to be given, as, it is hoped, will prove effectual in ar- 
resting the proceedings complained of against Captain Fournier, if these pro- 
ceedings shall have been correctly reported to you, and in stopping, likewise 
the armament of the Vessel of War at Baltimore, to which you refer, if that 
armament shall also prove to be of the character imputed to it. 

I take advantage of this occasion [etc.]. 



179 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Alejandro Valez, Colombian Charged' Affaires 

in the United States^ 

Washington, October 14, 1828. 

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your Letter of yesterday. I 
participate the regret which you express on account of our not having a per- 
sonal interview, when you were last in this City. Having always derived 
from our ofificial intercourse a high degree of satisfaction, I should have been 
happy, if it had been conformable with the views of your Government and 
with your own wishes that you should have continued to represent it. I 
hope, in the different disposition which has been made, that you will find 
your interests and prosperity promoted, and that your Successor may be ani- 
mated by the same frank and friendly sentiments which I have always found 
in you: 

It is very gratifying to me to know that my efforts to produce the recog- 
nition of Colombia, as an Independent State, are justly appreciated by you. 
They proceeded from a conviction that it was an act of justice, and from a 
lively interest which I felt in the welfare of that Republic. That interest is 
unabated, and I shall continue to cherish it, under all vicissitudes. 

' Not printed in this collection. 

* MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, IV, 76. Alejandro Velez, charge d'affaires of Co- 
lombia to the United States: Placed in charge of legation, June 17, 1828. Department 
informed, by note of August 11, 1828, of the withdrawal of legation. Transmitted his letter 
of recall to Department, August 17. 



300 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

I thank you for your obliging offer to execute any Commands I might 
have for Colombia. I have none at this time. I beg you to carry with you 
my anxious wishes for the happiness, and prosperity of your Country and 
for your own. 

I am [etc.]. 

180 

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to F. I. Mariategui, Minister of Foreign 

Affairs oj Peru ^ 

Washington, December jo, 1828. 

Most Exct. Sir: I had the honor of receiving, several months ago, an of- 
ficial Letter under date the i6th of November of the last year, from Mr. F. 
I. Mariategui, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Peru, recount- 
ing the events which led to the present Constitution of that Republic, com- 
municating apprehensions that General Bolivar meditated war upon it, and 
inviting the Government of the United States to interpose its mediation in 
defence of the peace and freedom of Peru. The Letter is presumed to have 
been addressed directly to the Secretary of State of the United-States, be- 
cause the Republic of Peru had no diplomatic Representation accredited near 
them. The death of Mr. Cooley, the Charg^ d'Affaires of the United States 
at Peru, and the delay incident to the designation of his successor, have 
hitherto prevented the return of such an answer as was due to the important 
character of that Letter. Mr. Larned, our Charge d'Affaires at Chile, hav- 
ing been appointed to replace Mr. Cooley, is charged to communicate^ the 
views of the President which I hope will prove entirely satisfactory to Your 
Excellency, and to your Government. 

I avail myself [etc.]. 



181 

Henry Clay, Secretary oj State, to Samuel Larned, United States Charge 

d'Affaires in Peru^ 

Washington, January i, 182Q. 

Sir: I received an official letter from the Minister of Foreign Relations of 
the Republic of Peru, under date the i6th. November, of the last year, 

' MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, IV, 131. The letter of which the receipt is here 
acknowledged is not printed in this collection. Its contents are evident from doc. 181, below. 

* See below, pt. I, doc. 181, Clay to Larned, January i, 1829. 

'MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, XII, 177. Samuel Larned, of Rhode 
Island: Commissioned secretary of legation in Chile, November 18, 1823. Left in charge, 
July 31, 1827. Commissioned as charge d'affaires, February 29, 1828. Left, October 14, 
1829. Commissioned charge d'affaires in Peru, December 29, 1828. Mr. West having 
been appointed charge d'affaires, and having died on the way to his post, Mr. Larned was 
recommissioned. May 15, £830. Left, March 2, 1837. 



DOCUMENT l8i: JANUARY I, 1 829 3OI 

communicating the events which preceded and led to the formation of the 
present Constitution of Peru, imputing to General Bolivar vast designs of 
Ambition, and expressing apprehensions that he entertained hostile designs 
against Peru, and that an attempt would be made to conquer it by the com- 
bined forces of Colombia and Bolivia. The letter, of which a copy is here- 
with transmitted, concluded by inviting the Government of the United 
States to interpose its mediation in defence of the peace and freedom of Peru. 
Several causes, among which may be mentioned the death of Mr Cooley, 
and unavoidable delay in the designation of his successor, have hitherto 
postponed the return of such an answer as was due to the important nature 
of that communication. The Government of the United States has ever 
taken, and continues to feel, the deepest interest in the success and prosperity 
of the southern Republics of the Continent of America. It is sensible that 
peace is required by their condition, to enable them to repair the ravages of 
war; to establish and consolidate their free institutions, and to take that 
respectable stand among the nations of the earth, which, it is sincerely hoped, 
they will occupy. It would be just cause of deep and universal regret if at 
the moment when one war is extinguished on the Atlantic side of South 
America, another should be lighted up on that of the Pacific. Although 
other information had reached us, corroborating that which is contained in 
the letter of the Minister of Foreign Relations of Peru, of the inimical de- 
signs upon that Republic of General Bolivar, the President, reluctant to 
credit them, had entertained a hope that the distracted condition of Colom- 
bia, and the disorder of her finances, if not a proper sense of his true glory, 
would have dissuaded him from rashly engaging in foreign war. Recent 
intelligence received here, however, seems to render too probable such an 
event. 

General Harrison, the Minister of the United States near the Republic of 
Colombia, has recently taken his departure to proceed to the discharge 
of the duties of his mission. In consequence of the anxiety which the Presi- 
dent feels that the menaced war should not be kindled, that Minister has 
been charged among the first duties which he performs, upon his arrival at 
Bogota, to communicate to the Government of Colombia, the President's 
"anxious wish that the war may be averted if it has not broken out, or may 
be honorably terminated, if it has commenced." And he was directed to 
embrace some suitable occasion "to communicate this sentiment to the 
Colombian Government, and to express the gratification which the Presi- 
dent will derive from the existence of peace and a good understanding 
between two countries in whose prosperity and happiness the United States 
must ever feel a lively interest." 

You will assure the (Government of Peru that it does not too highly esti- 
mate the solicitude which that of the United States feels for its welfare, and 
that it will be ever ready to manifest this solicitude in any manner in its 



302 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

power, not inconsistent with the paramount duties which it owes to the 
People of the United States. And you will communicate to it the substance 
of this despatch with the purport of the instruction given to General Har- 
rison. 

The policy of the United States is that of peace and friendship with all 
nations, always regretting, but carefully avoiding taking any part in, their 
wars, and abstaining, with the utmost caution and delicacy from all inter- 
ference in their internal concerns. Hitherto the United States have never 
assumed the ofhce of Mediator. It is one which draws after it high duties 
and great responsibility, and it ought never to be undertaken but upon full 
consideration of his own condition, and that of both of the States between 
which it is proposed he should mediate. It ought not to be undertaken 
without the consent of both those States. As the Government of Colombia 
has not requested the mediation of the United States, and has given no 
intimation of its wishes upon that subject, it is deemed proper to wait until 
an answer shall be received to the communication which General Harrison 
has been instructed to make. Without intending now to pledge the Govern- 
ment of the United States to assume the office, whatever may be the nature 
of that answer, you will inform the Government of Peru, that, when it is 
received, this Government will be able to decide how far it will be compatible 
with its own interest and its friendly relations with its two sister Republics 
to interpose between them. 

I transmit, herewith, a letter addressed to the Minister of Foreign Rela- 
tions of the Republic of Peru, which you will deliver to that officer. On 
perusing it, you will perceive that he is referred to you for the views of the 
President in regard to the proposed mediation. 

I am [etc.]. 



182 

Henry Clay, Secretary oj State, to Xavier de Medina, Colombian Consul 

General at New York^ 

Washington, February g, 1829. 

Sir: I have the honor to acquaint you, for the information of your Gov- 
ernment, that in compliance with its wish, as signified by Don Alexandro 
Velez, late Charge d'Affaires, to the United States, Instructions were given, 
by this Department to the Minister of the United-States at Madrid, on the 
2 1 St. of June last,2 to endeavour to procure the exchange of a number of 
Prisoners, belonging to the Colombian Privateer, General Armoria, cap- 
tured, with that vessel, off the Coast of Spain, and detained in prison, at 

1 MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, IV, 142. 
* Not printed in this collection. 



DOCUMENT 183: MAY 6, 1 829 303 

Carraca, near Cadiz; and that in consequence of the interposition of that 
Minister's good offices in the case, the Prisoners twenty one in number, have 
been set at Hberty, without exchange, upon an engagement on their part not 
to serve against Spain — as is stated in a despatch from him, under date the 
i6th. of December, just received at this Department. 

It gives me great pleasure to comrrbunicate this agreeable intelligence to 
you, and to offer you assurances [etc.]. 



183 

Martin Van Buren, Secretary of State, to Xavier de Medina, Colombian Consul 

General at New York ^ 

Washington, May 6, i82g. 

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Letter of the 
i8th.'^ instant, containing an interesting exposition of occurrences which had 
lately taken place in Colombia, and had reduced that Nation to the necessity 
of temporarily assuming a form of Government, best calculated, in its 
judgment to rescue it from an accumulation of evils which had been brought 
upon it by a long train of unfortunate circumstances; and I pray you to 
accept the assurance of my full appreciation of the very friendly motive, on 
the part of your Government, which has led to this communication, and 
you will be pleased at the same time to receive with kindness the expression 
of my best wishes, that the difficulties and struggles in which your Nation 
has been so long involved may be happily surmounted and removed, by the 
Convention which is to meet in the next year, under the order of President 
Bolivar, of whose past services in the cause of freedom and his Country the 
history of Colombia affords so many striking proofs and whose continued 
attachment to the principles of free Government will I trust be made equally 
manifest by future events. 

I am moreover authorised and directed by the President to inform you, 
that the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, recently ap- 
pointed by him, who will forthwith proceed on his Mission to the Republic of 
Colombia, will be fully instructed to express the views and feelings of the 
President upon all the points in which the two Governments have a common 
interest, and to request you to make his sentiments known to your Govern- 
ment, that he, likewise, takes a sincere interest in the good fortunes, pros- 
perity and happiness of the people of Colombia, that he deeply sympathises 
with them in the sufferings and privations which they have so long under- 
gone, and that his best wishes also will attend the proceedings of the Assem- 

^ MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, IV, 175. Martin Van Buren, of New York: Commis- 
sioned Secretary of State by President Jackson, March 6, 1829; resigned April 7, 1831. 
* Not printed in this collection. 



304 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

bly referred to, that they may result in a Government eminently and entirely 
adapted to secure the permanent Independence, Happiness and Prosperity 
of its Constituents, and particularly to express the strong desire he feels that 
the war which now unhappily rages between the two Republics of Colombia 
and Peru, should be speedily terminated in a manner consistent with the 
honor and interest of both. 
I have the honor [etc.]. 



184 

Martin Van Bur en, Secretary of State, to Joaquin Campino, Chilean Minister 

to the United States^ 

Washington, May 26, i82g. 

The Undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, has received 
the Note which Mr. Joaquin Campino, Minister Extraordinary and Pleni- 
potentiary of the Republic of Chile, addressed to him on the ist. of this 
month,^ accompanied by translations of certain Notes from the Govern- 
ments of Chile and the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, respecting the 
institution of a Mediation between those of Peru and Colombia, with a view 
to avert the impending contest between the two last mentioned States: 
to which scheme Mr. Campino by direction of his Government, invites that 
of the United States to become a Party; — and he has, likewise, received the 
Note which Mr. Campino addressed to him, on the 7th. instant, upon the 
same subject. 

Having submitted both these Notes to the consideration of the President, 
the Undersigned has the honor, by his direction, to state to Mr. Campino, 
that the Government of Chile does full justice to that of the United States, 
in the estimate which it has been pleased to form of the deep interest which 
the latter has always felt, and continues to feel, in the prosperity and happi- 
ness of the two Republics referred to; and of the pleasure which the re- 
establishment of amity and good understanding between them, is so well 
calculated to afford to the Government of the United States. 

In accordance with this sentiment, common to the late and present 
Administration, measures were seasonably taken by both, for making known 
to the Governments of Colombia and Peru, respectively, the earnest desire 
entertained by the Government of the United States, for the restoration of 
peace and amity between them. 

The Undersigned is peculiarly happy in being able now to inform Mr. 
Campino, that he has just received from an authentic quarter, the gratifying 

1 MS. Notes to Foreign Legations, IV, 187. Joaquin Campino, envoy extraordinary 
and minister plenipotentiary of Chile to the United States: Presented credentials, March 6, 
1828. Took leave, June 3, 1829. 

2 See below, pt. v, doc. 547. 



DOCUMENT 185: OCTOBER 2, 1 829 305 

intelligence of the actual conclusion of priliminary articles of Peace between 
Colombia and Peru ; and it gives him very great satisfaction to furnish Mr. 
Campino, with the enclosed number of the Gazette Extraordinary of Bogota, 
containing a copy of the Treaty. 

The Undersigned takes advantage of the occasion [etc.]. 



185 

Martin Van Buren, Secretary of State, to Cornelius P. Van Ness, appointed 
United States Minister to Spain ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, October 2, iSzg. 

Among the events which have affected the condition of Spain, that which 
has wrought the greatest change in her political institutions, is the revolution 
by which her possessions on the Continent of America have, after a pro- 
tracted and severe contest, been separated from the mother country. Situ- 
ated, as we were, with territories adjoining those possessions, and viewing in 
the progress of that revolution the extension over a vast portion of the new 
World of the blessings of independence, and of our own principles of free 
government, the United States could not remain unconcerned spectators of 
a struggle whose probable result was to afford a new field for the commercial 
enterprise of their citizens, and to unfold new and unknown resources to the 
commerce of the world. Yet, true to the long established policy which for- 
bade their interfering in the internal concerns of other nations, the Govern- 
ment of the United States continued scrupulously to observe the principles 
of the strictest neutrality, until, impelled by the inevitable course of events 
and by the unanimous voice of the nation, it yielded its acknowledgment of 
the independence of the new States, with most of whom we are now pursuing 
and realizing the advantages of a free trade, equally beneficial to all the 
parties concerned. 

The contest between Spain and her former colonies must now be considered 
as at end; yet, still entertaining vain hopes of reconquering them, she with- 
holds her acknowledgment of an independence which has long since been 
recognized by the most powerful and influential Governments of Europe, who 
acting in the general interest of mankind, and for the advancement of the 
prosperity as well of Spain herself as of her former colonies, have endeavored, 
by the interposition of their friendly advice, to put an end to a contest which 

' MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, XIII, 21. Cornelius P. Van Ness, of 
Vermont: Commissioned envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Spain, June 
I, 1829. Took leave, December 21, 1836. 



306 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

afflicts humanity, and never can lead to any decisive result. Your predeces- 
sors were instructed to seize every opportunity of aiding in the restoration of 
peace by holding up to the view of His Catholic Majesty's Government the 
advantages which might still be secured by a timely acknowledgment of the 
independence of the Spanish American States; and it is the wish of the Presi- 
dent, should any fit occasion present itself of conveying to the Spanish 
Government his views on the subject, that you should express his earnest 
desire for the restoration of peace in America. 

Full reliance is placed on your discretion that the manner and occasion 
adopted for this communication, will be such as to avoid unprofitable irrita- 
tion, the effect of which might tend to defeat the object in view. 

One of the considerations which the Ministers of the United States who 
preceded you at the court of His Catholic Majesty were advised to press upon 
his Government as an inducement for him to terminate the contest with his 
late Colonies, is the preservation of his insular possessions in the West Indies, 
which still constitute a part of the Spanish Monarchy. Cuba and Porto 
Rico, occupying, as they do, a most important geographical position, have 
been viewed by the neighboring States of Mexico and Colombia, as military 
and naval arsenals which would at all times furnish Spain with the means of 
threatening their commerce, and even of endangering their political existence. 
Looking with a jealous eye upon these last remnants of Spanish power in 
America, these two States had once united their forces, and their arm, raised 
to strike a blow which, if successful, would for ever have extinguished Spanish 
influence in that quarter of the globe, was arrested chiefly by the timely 
interposition of this Government, who, in a friendly spirit towards Spain, and 
for the interest of general commerce thus assisted in preserving to his Catho- 
lic Majesty these invaluable portions of his Colonial possessions. 

The Government of the United States has always looked with the deepest 
interest upon the fate of those islands, but particularly of Cuba — ^Its geo- 
graphical position which places it almost in sight of our southern shores, and, 
as it were, gives it the command of the Gulf of Mexico, and the West Indian 
seas, its safe and capacious harbors, its rich productions, the exchange of 
which for our surplus agricultural products and manufactures, constitutes 
one of the most extensive and valuable branches of our foreign trade, render 
it of the utmost importance to the United States that no change should take 
place in its condition which might injuriously affect our political and com- 
mercial standing in that quarter. Other considerations connected with a 
certain class of our population, make it the interest of the southern section 
of the Union that no attempt should be made in that island to throw off the 
yoke of Spanish dependence, the first effect of which would be the sudden 
emancipation of a numerous slave population whose result could not but be 
very sensibly felt upon the adjacent shores of the United States. 

On the other hand, the wisdom which induced the Spanish Government to 



DOCUMENT 185: OCTOBER 2, 1 829 3O7 

relax in its colonial system, and to adopt with regard to those Islands, a more 
liberal policy which opened their ports to general commerce, has been so far 
satisfactory in the view of the United States, as in addition to other consid- 
erations, to induce this Government to desire that their possession should not 
be transferred from the Spanish crown to any other Power. In conformity 
with this desire, the ministers of the United States at Madrid have, from 
time to time, been instructed attentively to watch the course of events, and 
the secret springs of European diplomacy, which, from information received 
from various quarters this Government had reason to suspect had been put in 
motion to effect the transfer of the possession of Cuba to the powerful allies 
of Spain. It had been intimated at one time that the armed interference of 
France in the affairs of that country would extend over her insular posses- 
sions, and that a military occupation of Cuba was to take place for the al- 
leged purpose of protecting it against foreign invasion, or internal revolu- 
tionary movements. A similar design was imputed to the Government of 
Great Britain; and it was stated that, in both cases, a continuance of the 
occupation of the Island, was to constitute in the hands of either of those 
Powers, a guaranty for the payment of heavy indemnities claimed, by France, 
on the one hand, to cover the expenses of her armies of occupation; and by 
Great Britain, on the other, to compensate her subjects for spoliations al- 
leged to have been committed upon their commerce. The arrangements 
entered into by Spain with those two Powers, by means of treaties of a recent 
date, and providing for the payment of those indemnities, although removing 
the pretext upon which the occupation of Cuba would have been justified, 
are not believed entirely to obviate the possibility of its eventually being 
effected. The Government of the United States considers as a much stronger 
pledge of its continuance under the dominion of Spain, the considerable 
military and naval armaments which have recently been added to the ordi- 
nary means of defence in that Island, and which are supposed fully adequate 
for its protection against any attempt on the part of Foreign Powers, and for 
the suppression of any insurrectionary movement on that of its inhabi- 
tants. 

Notwithstanding these apparent securities for the maintenance of the 
Spanish authority in the Island of Cuba, as it is not impossible that Spain, in 
her present embarrassed and dependent situation might be induced to yield 
her assent to a temporary occupation of it as a pledge for the fulfilment of her 
engagements, or to part with her right of property in it, for other consider- 
ations affording immediate relief in the hour of her distress, it is the wish of 
the President that the same watchfulness which had engaged the attention 
of your predecessors in relation to this subject, should be continued during 
your administration of the affairs of the Legation of the United States at 
Madrid; and that you should take especial care to keep this Department 
informed of every occurrence whose tendency, either direct or indirect, 



308 PART I : COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

might, in your judgment, bring about any change in the present condition 
of the Island of Cuba. 

Your predecessors, who had been repeatedly instructed to that effect, have 
availed themselves of every fit opportunity to make the wishes and policy of 
the United States, with regard to the Spanish Islands fully known to the 
Government of His Catholic Majesty, whom you will find already possessed 
of every information which you will have it in your power to communicate 
upon this head. But it is not improbable that the same inquisitiveness 
which has hitherto been manifested on the part of that Government in rela- 
tion to it, may again be evinced by the Spanish Ministers, who, affecting to 
construe the avowed anxiousness of the United States into a determination 
not to suffer the possession of Cuba to pass into the hands of other Powers, 
have inquired how far this Government would go in sustaining that deter- 
mination: Should similar inquiries be made of you by the Ministers of His 
Catholic Majesty, you are authorized to say, that the long established and 
well known policy of the United States which forbids their entangling them- 
selves in the concerns of other nations, and which permits their physical 
force to be used only for the defence of their political rights and the protec- 
tion of the persons and property of their citizens, equally forbids their public 
agents to enter into positive engagements, the performance of which would 
require the employment of means which the people have retained in their 
own hands: But that this Government has every reason to believe that the 
same influence which once averted the blow ready to fall upon the Spanish 
Islands, would again be found effectual, on the recurrence of similar events, 
and that the high preponderance in American affairs of the United States as 
a great naval power, the influence which they must at all times command as a 
great commercial nation in all questions involving the interests of the general 
commerce of this hemisphere, would render their consent an essential pre- 
liminary to the execution of any project calculated so vitally to affect the 
general concerns of all the nations in any degree engaged in the commerce of 
America. The knowledge you possess of the public sentiment of this country 
in regard to Cuba, will enable you to speak with confidence and effect of the 
probable consequences that might be expected from the communication of 
that sentiment to Congress in the event of any contemplated change in the 
present political condition of that Island. 



DOCUMENT 1 86: OCTOBER 1 6, 1 829 3O9 

186 

Martin Van Bur en. Secretary of State, to Anthony Butler, appointed United 
States Charge d' Affaires in Mexico ^ 

[extracts] 

Washington, October i6, i82g. 

The views and wishes of the President, both personal and official, are 
directed to the success and permanent prosperity of the Republic of Mexico. 
He asks at her hands nothing but justice, and would not accept from her 
any advantage for the United States which would not be reciprocal, entirely 
satisfied as he is, that, in the prosperity and glory of the Republic of Mexico, 
the true interests of his own country would be better promoted than by her 
depression and disgrace. He sees with regret the attempt of Spain to rees- 
tablish her dominion over her, and sincerely wishes Mexico a safe deliver- 
ance from the attacks which are made and threatened upon her liberties. 
This is not, therefore, the moment which he would have selected for remon- 
strance against the policy of Mexico towards this country, if the imperious 
obligations of duty would allow of its postponement; but notorious facts, 
the nature of which is too well understood to require explanation, leave him 
no choice in the matter. Longer silence on his part might work injustice 
to the United States, and prove injurious to Mexico. 

A brief recapitulation of the leading circumstances, in our intercourse 
with that nation, is sufficient to show that her conduct has not been of that 
open and friendly character which it was our hope to find, as it had been 
our endeavor to inspire, in the people of that country, by the liberal and 
magnanimous bearing of the Government and people of the United States 
towards them. 

From the earliest dawn of the Mexican Revolution, the friendly disposi- 
tion of this whole nation began to manifest itself in a manner which could 
not have escaped the notice of the Mexican people, which drew from the 
mother-country frequent animadversions upon our partiality towards her 
revolted colonies; and was, in no small degree, productive of a coolness in 
our intercourse with her, highly prejudicial to the interests of our citizens. 
Yet the United States, drawn by a community of views and feelings towards 
a young nation, engaged, as they once had been, in a struggle of life and 
death for independence and freedom, continued to sympathize with Mexico; 
and nothing but their immutable principles of non-interference in the 
domestic concerns of other Nations, and of inviolable neutrality towards 
belligerents, prevented them from extending a helping hand to the young 
Republics of America. So long as these principles required it, the United 

^ MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, American States, XIV, 150. Anthony Butler, 
of Mississippi: Commissioned charge d'affaires to Mexico, October 12, 1829. The credentials 
of his successor were presented, May 11, 1836. 



310 PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

States remained inactive, though not unconcerned, spectators of the con- 
test; while many of their citizens, voluntary exiles in the cause of American 
liberty, fought by the side of their Mexican friends, to expel from the con- 
tinent the last remnants of Colonial oppression. But, from the moment, 
that, consistently with their rule of conduct, and the established principles 
of public law, they could consider Mexico and Spain as two distinct Nations, 
which fate had, for ever separated, the United States pronounced the free- 
dom of America; and their Congress, with an unanimity of which the history 
of legislation affords no example, invited Mexico and her sister Republics to 
take their rank among the Independent Nations of the earth. The influence 
which this important event had upon the conduct of the European Powers, 
is too well known to require elucidation. The example of the United States 
was followed almost immediately; and Mexico, a little more than one year 
after she had proclaimed her independence, was represented at Washington 
by a Minister invested with all the prerogatives of the Ambassador of a free 
State, and diplomatic and commercial relations were, soon after, established 
between her and the most influential Powers of the Old World. The time 
has been when Mexico was not disposed to deny in how great a degree those 
proud and auspicious results were justly attributable to the prudent, yet 
bold and friendly policy of this Government towards the New States of 
America. The people of this country had a right to expect, in return for 
their magnanimous and disinterested conduct, the manifestation, at least, of 
such a sentiment on the part of the people of Mexico, which neighboring 
States should cherish, as it is their interest to cultivate and improve them. 

Every step which has since that period been taken by the United States, 
in their advance to meet Mexico upon terms of mutual good will, has been 
marked by a character of benevolence and disinterestedness whose object 
could not be mistaken. A minister of the highest rank, and invested with 
the most unlimited powers, was despatched to the metropolis of the Mexican 
Confederacy, provided with instructions whose every word breathes a spirit 
of philanthropy and disinterested concern for the welfare of Mexico, which 
ought to have disarmed every feeling of jealousy and enmity, if, indeed, 
after what had passed, it could have been imagined that any such were 
entertained by the Government or people of that country. . . . 

Whilst this Government was thus endeavoring at home to promote the 
true interests of the two countries, and to show, by acts of the most unequiv- 
ocal character, its desire to lay the foundation of a close and lasting union 
between them, the same friendly spirit was displaying itself abroad, in their 
diplomatic intercourse with the most powerful and influential among the 
European Nations. 

Early in 1825, the Minister of the United States at the Court of the 
Emperor of Russia, then standing at the head of an European Alliance which 
seemed to hold the scale that weighed the destinies of Empires and States 



DOCUMENT 1 86: OCTOBER 1 6, l82q 3II 

in the Old World, and exercised a powerful influence over those of America, 
was instructed to use every effort to induce that monarch to take into his 
serious consideration the then relative condition of Spain and her Ancient 
Colonies, and to prevail upon the former to terminate a contest as unavail- 
ing for her, as it had proved wasteful of blood and treasure to both parties. 
Similar instructions^ were, at the same time, given to the diplomatic 
Representatives of the United States at Paris and London; and thus a 
simultaneous efl'ort was made, at the court the three greatest potentates of 
the world, to bring the united weight of their influence to bear upon the 
councils of the King of Spain, and to infuse into them a spirit more favorable 
to the cause of exhausted America. This friendly interference on the part 
of the United States, was received in a spirit corresponding with that by 
which the measure had been dictated; and this Government has every 
reason to believe that the three Sovereigns to whom it was addressed were 
well inclined to the great object in view, and in which this Government was 
the first to act. If their efforts proved as unavailing as the repeated and 
urgent representations which were made at the same time, and with the 
same view by our Minister at the Court of His Catholic Majesty, it was 
because of the uncompromising passions and unbending obstinacy which 
smothered the voice of reason in the councils of an unfortunate Sovereign, 
soured by adversity and blind to the true interests of his kingdom. Far 
from our being discouraged by the failure of this expedient, and still animated 
by a desire for the restoration of peace in America, it has, down to the 
present period, been made a standing instruction to the Ministers of the 
United States at the Court of His Catholic Majesty to avail themselves of 
every fit occasion to induce his Government to give permanent tranquility 
to Spanish America by the recognition of its independence, and thereby to 
confer a signal blessing on the civilized world, and on no part of it more 
than Spain herself. 

* See above, doc. 141, Clay's instruction to Middleton at St. Petersburg, May 10, 1825. 
and his instructions within the next few days to the United States Ministers at London. 
Paris, and Madrid. 



312 PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

187 

Martin Van Bur en, Secretary of State, to Cornelius P. Van Ness, United 

States Minister to Spain ^ 

[extract] 

Washington, October ij, i8jo. 

Sir : I am directed by the President to call your attention to that part of 
your general instructions ^ which contains an expression of his solicitude 
that Spain should recognise the independence of her former American 
Colonies, and of his wish that you should pursue the course which had been 
pointed out to several of your predecessors, by availing yourself of every 
fit opportunity to make an impression upon the Spanish Government favor- 
able to that step, as far as that could be done without exciting jealousies and 
irritation on their part, which might affect injuriously the interests of this 
country, without promoting the object in view. The present is deemed an 
auspicious moment to press the subject on account of general causes as well 
as of some considerations of a special character which it is made my duty to 
bring to your view. Your private letter has confirmed our anticipations as 
to the effect which the French Revolution was likely to produce upon the 
policy of the existing authorities in Spain. It is not, one would suppose, 
possible, that with the example of Charles X. before his eyes, the present 
King of Spain can be so blind to his own interests and safety, as not to see 
and feel that his only hope to escape a similar fate consists in pursuing a 
course opposite to that which was adopted by his infatuated and unfortunate 
relative. Should it be his good fortune to embrace views of duty and policy 
so obvious and so just it must readily occur to him that there is no step that 
he could take, short of the direct concession of a free constitution to his 
subjects, which would inspire more confidence in the liberality of his views 
throughout the world than the prompt recognition of the independence of 
Spanish America. 

Of the hopelessness of all attempts on the part of the crown of Spain 
to reconquer those States — ^of the interest which the world, and no part of 
it more than Spain, herself, has in the final settlement of that question, 
and the consequent folly of keeping it on foot, it is not necessary now to 
speak. These considerations are fully discussed in your instructions, and 
cannot fail to be duly appreciated by you, and must, also, be confirmed by 
your personal observations. If the Spanish Cabinet are yet inaccessible to 
their influence, there is, perhaps, too much reason to believe that nothing 
short of the scenes which have recently been witnessed in France, can raise 
their views of human rights and human happiness to a level with those which 
we cherish, and which, without in the slightest degree interfering in the in- 
ternal concerns of other nations, we desire to see universally approved. 

1 MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, XIII, 184. 

^ See above, doc. 185, Van Buren to Van Ness, October 2, 1829. 



DOCUMENT 187: OCTOBER 1 3, 183O 313 

The particular circumstances to which I have referred consist in an 
official communication which has this week been made to this Government 
by Colonel Tornel, the representative of that of Mexico in the United States. 
From that communication it appears that the Government of Great Britain 
has informed that of Mexico that it had taken measures to induce the Spanish 
Government, by friendly advice and remonstrance, to consent to the recogni- 
tion of the Independence of the South American States. Colonel Tornel, 
in behalf of Mexico, invited a similar movement on the part of this Govern- 
ment. The general interest which the United States have always taken in 
whatever concerns the welfare of those of their Southern neighbors, would, of 
itself, be sufficient to induce the President to do all that can be done con- 
sistently with our established foreign policy, to effect the object so justly 
desired by those States. The past and present relations between us and our 
immediate neighbor, Mexico, furnish an additional motive for such a course, 
on his part. Of the unfounded jealousies in respect to the views of the 
United States towards that Republic which were heretofore entertained, 
you cannot be ignorant, nor of the embarrassments in the relations of the 
two countries which have resulted therefrom. I am happy to be able to 
inform you, that, through the exercise of suitable means, those jealousies 
have been substantially removed, and that although the principal men who 
now influence the Government of that country did not belong to the party 
heretofore supposed most favorable to the United States, they have, never- 
theless, been impressed with just views of us, and of our wishes, and are well 
disposed to cherish and maintain such relations between the two countries 
as will best comport with the character, and most effectually subserve the 
true interests of each. It would, therefore, be at this time more particularly 
acceptable to the President to render himself useful to that Republic. This 
Government has, also, been given to understand that if Spain should perse- 
vere in the assertion of a hopeless claim to dominion over her former Colonies, 
they will feel it to be their duty as well as their interest to attack her colonial 
possessions in our vicinity — Cuba and Porto Rico. Your general instruc- 
tions are full upon the subject of the interest which the United States take 
in the fate of those Islands, and particularly of the latter. They inform you 
that we are content that Cuba should remain as it now is, but could not 
consent to its transfer to any European power. Motives of reasonable state 
policy render it more desirable to us that it should remain subject to Spain 
rather than to either of the South American States. Those motives will 
readily present themselves to your mind. They are principally founded 
upon an apprehension that, if possessed by the latter, it would, in the present 
state of things be in greater danger of becoming subject to some European 
Power than in its present condition. Although such are our own wishes 
and true interests the President does not see on what ground he would be 
justified in interfering with any attempts which the South American States 
might think it for their interest in the prosecution of a defensive war to make 



314 PART i: COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES 

upon the Islands in question. If, indeed, an attempt should be made to 
disturb them by putting arms in the hands of one portion of their population 
to destroy another, and which, in its influence, would endanger the peace 
of a portion of the United States, the case might be different. Against such 
an attempt the United States, being informed that it was in contemplation, 
have already protested, and warmly remonstrated in their communications, 
last summer, with the Government of Mexico. But the information lately 
communicated to us, in this regard, was accompanied by a solemn assurance 
that no such measures will, in any event, be resorted to; and that the contest, 
if forced upon them, will be carried on, on their part, with strict reference 
to the established rules of civilized warfare. 

The President finds in this consideration, an additional motive to desire 
that Spain should no longer withhold her recognition of the Independence 
of the New American States, and he cannot but hope that the matter, when 
well understood and fully considered, will be viewed in the same light by 
Spain herself. No objections are perceived against a frank communication of 
the substance of your instructions in this regard to the British Minister at 
the Court of Spain, nor to a cooperation with him (if the information given 
to this Government prove correct,) in effecting the desired result. The Pres- 
ident, however, always relies upon your discretion that nothing shall be 
done, or attempted by you, which can, to any extent, impair the friendly re- 
lations between the United States and Spain, or which would, in substance, 
conflict with the well known policy of the United States in regard to its in- 
terference in the internal concerns of other countries. 



188 

Martin Van Buren, Secretary of State, to John Hamm, appointed United 
States Charge d' Affaires in Chile^ 

[extract] 

Washington, October 15, 1830. 

Sir : You are already informed of your appointment as Charg6 d'AfTaires 
of the United States near the Republic of Chile, and of the President's de- 
sire that you should repair to Santiago, to enter upon the duties of your 
mission. I now proceed to furnish you with the instructions of this Depart- 
ment for your guidance in conducting the diplomatic relations of the United 
States with that Republic. 

Shortly after the recognition by this Government of the independence of 

> MS. Instructions to United States Ministers, American States, XIV, 83. John Hamm, 
of Ohio: Commissioned charge d'affaires to Chile May 26, 1830. Left October 19, 1833. 



DOCUMENT 1 88: OCTOBER 1 5, 183O 315 

the Spanish American States, those relations were opened on our part, 
by the appointment of Mr. Heman Allen as Envoy Extraordinary and Min- 
ister Plenipotentiary of this Government near that of Chile, who, in Novem- 
ber of 1823, proceeded to Santiago. This first movement towards the estab- 
lishment of regular intercourse was, in 1827, reciprocated by Chile, by the 
appointment, in the person of Mr. Joaquin Campino, of a minister of the 
same rank, who continued to reside in the United States, in his public ca- 
pacity, until May, 1829, when he took his leave of this Government, near 
which that of Chile has remained unrepresented ever since. 

The principal objects of Mr. Allen's mission, besides apprizing the Gov- 
ernment near which he was accredited, of its recognition by this, were to 
arrange our commercial relations with that country upon a permanent and 
advantageous footing of reciprocity. 



PART II 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM ARGENTINA 



COMMUNICATIONS FROM ARGENTINA 

189 

The Governing Junta of the Provinces of the Rio de la Plata to James Madison, 
President of the United States ^ 

[translation] 

Buenos Aires, February ii, 1811. 

The marked proofs which your Excellency has given of your Beneficence 
and magnanimity towards the Province of Caracas are irrefragable testi- 
monies of the lively Interest which your Excy takes in the Rights of Human- 
ity. In truth, none are more likely to respect them in others than those 
who have had the misfortune to see them outraged towards themselves. 
The perfect conformity of our Political Situation, and of the causes of it, 
with that of the Noble Caraquans, gives us an equal Right to hope that it 
will be agreeable to your Excellency, that the United States should tighten 
with the Provinces on the Rio la Plata the common chain of Nations, by a 
Cordiality more firm and expressive. 

The Inhabitants of these Provinces, for a long time past, altho' much op- 
pressed under the yoke of an arbitrary authority, fulfilled their Duties, with 
all the fidelity of subjects and all the Honor of Citizens. They were per- 
suaded that the Reunion of the whole Spanish Monarchy was the only thing 
that could save it from Ruin. To secure this Union there could have been 
no Sacrifice that could have appeared too great for a People, who had at the 
price of their Blood succeeded in redeeming these Dominions. In effect, to 
Save the Kingdom from this assassinating orde [sic] which now crams itself 
with the carcass of Europe, every thing was put in contribution, and so long 
as our Hopes lasted, we considered it our Duty not to think of ourselves. 
The Theatre changed its scene — almost the whole of the Peninsula fell under 
the Dominion of the common oppressor and that Body of Ambitious Egotists, 
of which was composed the Central Junta, was dissolved and dispersed. 
This was precisely the case, in which the same Principles of Loyalty which 
had until then retained us in Union with Spain authorised our separation. 

1 MS. Papers relative to the Revolted Spanish Provinces. The document of which this is a 
translation reached the Department as an enclosure to the following letter from Taleifero de 
Orea to Secretary of State, Monroe: 

[translation] 

Philadelphia, June 18, iSii. 
Excellent Sir: A gentleman who has arrived in this City from Buenos Ayres has 
charged me to send to the His Excy the President the two inclosed official letters from 
the Supreme Junta at that Place — desiring an answer for that government or some other 
Document to prove that these letters were delivered — 

Your Excy being the only channel (for such communications) and being satisfied of 
your goodness, I take the Liberty and the Honor of directing them to you — 
I am with the greatest Respect (etc.). 

319 



320 PART II : COMMUNICATIONS FROM ARGENTINA 

Our Security being threatened, there was no obligation to prostitute our- 
selves to the ephemeral authorities which had lost the Character of Dignity 
& Independence. 

Moreover, a Club of proud oligarchists composing this "audiencia", over 
whom presided a Vice-Roy as avaricious as ambitious, in place of softening 
the evils of the Country and of gaining our Confidence, endeavor'd to keep 
us in a torpid State, and thro' our negligence to confirm their Tyranny. 
Their re-iterated attempts to subvert the State, and their suspicious meas- 
ures obliged us to depose them. 

Such are the Reasons which have induced the Capital of the kingdom of 
La Plata to instal the governing Junta, which happily rules over these Prov- 
inces. The towns in the Interior, now freed from their ancient Tyrants, do 
not cease to bless the moment in which they saw re-established the impre- 
scriptible Rights with which nature endowed them. The Junta, to comply 
with the general wish of the Provinces for a national Congress, redoubles its 
labors and activity in the midst of dangers no less worthy of greatness of 
Soul than the labor of SeSafanes (Cecephus). This august assembly will 
meet in a short time, and will have the sweet consolation of seeing the 
poisonous Hydra of fealty destroyed. 

There will be some who will give an odious interpretation to these Pro- 
ceedings. There will be many who will blacken with the mark of perfidy 
actions that have Truth for their basis. For the purity of our Intentions we 
appeal to the Tribunal of Reason: we appeal to the Nations now existing, 
and to Posterity — In short, we appeal to the Consciences of the very 
Persons who calumniate us. 

This Junta has too exalted an Idea of the high Character which distin- 
guishes the United States of America to doubt for a moment the Equity of 
its decisions — It does your Excellency the Justice to believe that you are 
friendly to its cause, and that you will receive with Pleasure the grateful 
Impressions of its friendship. 

God preserve your Excy many years. 



190 

The Governing Junta of the Provinces of the Rio de la Plata to James Madison, 
President of the United States ^ 

[translation] 

Buenos Aires, February ij, 1811. 

Don Josef R Poinsetts has just presented himself to this Junta with a 
credential signed by the Secy (of State) to be accredited as commercial 
agent of the U States in this America and this government conformably to 
^ MS. Papers relative to the Revolted Spanish Provinces. 



DOCUMENT 191: JUNE 6, 181I 32I 

the cordial and friendly intentions which it made known to Y E in its official 
Letter dated yesterday has decreed his admission to the full exercise of his 
agency, which it considers as a preliminary to the Treaties between Nation 
and Nation which will be formed to point out the Rules of a permanent 
Commerce and of the greatest amity and Union between the two States. 



191 

Cornelio de Saavedra, President of the Governing Junta of the Provinces of 

the Rio de la Plata, Domingo Matheu, and eleven others, to James 

Madison, President of the United States^ 

Buenos Aires, June 6, 1811. 

Most Excellent Sir: This Government, desirous of securing the fullest 
safety for these countries from the attacks from abroad of other peoples 
who either are its enemies or assault its liberty, entertains the just wish to 
secure the adequate force to enforce respect for itself and maintain its rights. 
Since it needs arms for that purpose, which it believes it could not obtain 
better than from your generous nation which appreciates in the most noble 
manner the just liberty of men, it has decided to send with its powers and 
appropriate instructions citizens Don Diego de Saavedra and Don Juan 
Pedro de Aguirre, in order that they can purchase these in the United States 
and forward them with all the safety and caution that they can command: 
and it also hopes that your Government will be generous enough to deign to 
assist and protect its envoys in the achievement of the purpose of their 
mission; but, considering also that the better success of that mission and 
the safety of the undertaking of so much importance to us essentially de- 
pends on the greatest and most solemn secrecy, it has also decided that in 
carrying out their mission the above named gentlemen will keep from the 
public their true names, which are as above stated, and go under those of 
Pedro Lopez and Jose Cabrera, and will carry two passports to that effect 
and also to avoid compromising in any way your nation in the eyes of Eng- 
land or any other, which, although without ground, might imagine they were 
offended. In the understanding that this measure is taken for the precise 
intent of communicating frankly with your Government through your Ex- 
cellency's respected medium as is done, and recommending to the effective 
protection of your Excellency the persons of its commissioners and the pur- 
pose of their commission; without a doubt that your Excellency's kindness 
will generously lend itself to the views and desires of this Government, 
which will be extremely pleased to comply with what it may have the honor 
to be asked at any time by your nation. 

May God guard your Excellency many years. 

' MS. Papers relative to the Revolted Spanish Provinces. 



322 PART II : COMMUNICATIONS FROM ARGENTINA 

192 

Cornelio de Saavedra, President of the Governing Junta of the Provinces of the 
Rio de la Plata, to James Madison, President of the United States^ 

[translation] 

Buenos Aires, June 26, 1811. 

Most Excellent Sir: My son Don Diego de Saavedra will have the honour 
of placing in Your Excellency's hands this Letter, and of paying his com- 
pliments to Y. E*^^. in my name. — He goes from this Court in company 
with Don Juan Pedro Aguirre, both commissioned by this Superior Govern- 
ment, for the purposes which Y"^. E^^. will perceive by the credentials au- 
thorizing their Mission. To procure the necessary aid of arms against 
every European, who is opposed to the cause of that Liberty which the 
People of America have recovered, is the interesting object of their Mission. 
We can look to no other Power better enabled to aid us than our Brethern 
of North-America, over whom Y"". Ex'^^. so worthily presides — I take the 
liberty of recommending these Gentlemen to Your Excellency, to forward 
the objects explained by their instructions which will be shewn to you. It 
is important that they should conceal from the Public, their real names, the 
former being a Captain of Dragoons, and the latter, the actual Secretary of 
this Most Excellent Cabildo. (Court of Justice) 

I can assure Y''. Ex^. that this frank and liberal Government will take 
particular pleasure in establishing with their Fellow-Countrymen of N. 
America, all kinds of mercantile relations, and that it desires to preserve the 
strictest friendship towards Y'". Ex*^^. of whom, I have the honor to be [etc.]. 



193 

W. G. Miller, United States Consul at Buenos Aires, to James Monroe, Secre- 
tary of State of the United States^ 

Buenos Aires, April 30, 1812. 

Sir: I had the honor to address you on the 25 UP. and to inform you the 
intended meeting of the assembly for the purpose of electing a new member 
for the Executive: Agreably to the decree of Gov: the assembly met on 
Sunday: its opening was announced to the public by the discharge of the 
Fort Guns &c: this formality and compliment on the part of Gov*^. induced the 
people generally to suppose the Executive were inclined to permit them to 
Enjoy their rights as representatives of the people: after a due consideration 
Juan Martyn Puereydon late Comm*^ in chief of the army in Peru was 

1 MS. Notes from Argentine Legation, I. - MS. Consular Letters, Buenos Aires, L 



DOCUMENT 193: APRIL 30, l8l2 323 

elected as the new member: the Gov. thro' their partisans 3 of the Cabildo 
& three of the members, endeavored to obtain the election of another person, 
but finding the opposition too great, they assented imm^'. to the choice of 
the candidate submitted to their approbation. 

A discussion then took place respecting the supliente until the arrival of 
Puereydon: the Executive, insisted on their right to name, whom they 
might think proper, as having the supremacy over the assembly, and 
named "Rivadavia", urging, the inconvenience, of a stranger, being ad- 
mitted into the Executive, and thus becoming possessed of the Secrets of 
State; to this nomination, the assembly would not assent: but insisted on 
the right of electing a supliente as inherent in them: A warm discussion then 
took place: it will elucidate the subject, if the reserved object of the well 
meaning members, of the assembly be stated, & which had been arranged by 
several of the members that were actually elected & those who had expected 
to be elected: the first was, the declaration of Independence. 

An Enquiry into the state of the negociations with the U S. the corre- 
spondence that had passed and what had been done to conciliate them in 
their favor, the powers of the deputies sent the state of the negociations with 
Caraccas, & Condinamarca: the recognition of their independence these 
objects were gradually to have been brot on the Tapis but it was necessary 
to establish the supremacy of the Assembly ere it could be done with pro- 
priety: The Gov*^. on their part brot forward three other resolutions to 
which they wished the acknowledg\ of the Assembly that they were the 
Executive of an independent people — 

Reply : we have not declared independence we therefore cannot recognize 
you as an Executive of an Ind*^. Government, 

That a tax must be levied by the Assembly, on the people and provinces 
to amount to 2 millions dollars annually, — 

Reply. We cannot grant you any such power or can we tax the prov- 
inces & people: We have no such powers. Let the people from the interior 
send us the powers or let them send other deputies. 

(It must be observed that the members representing the interior towns 
were all citizens of B^ A^. chosen by the people above from the impossibility 
of their being chosen am^^\ themselves in time for the Assembly: they were 
the ablest men.) the acknowledge^ of the independence of Carraccas & Con- 
dinarmarca. 

Reply; This, the assembly of a colony, cannot do: Under what character 
can we treat with them: let us declare our own independence & then we 
can acknowledge theirs: 

The chagrin of the Executive was considerable at this unexpected denial 
of their propositions: their object in obtaining the consent of the Assembly 
to the taxation was to render them hated by the people All the intentions 
of the Assembly were however frustrated by the imprudence of some of the 



324 PART II : COMMUNICATIONS FROM ARGENTINA 

young members, who on the heat of discussion discovered at too early a 
moment their views: one of the members of the assembly a decided partizan 
of the Gov. whether right or wrong as he declared in y^ room, instantly 
escaped privately and informed the Gov: of the subject in discussion. 

The assembly finding their privildges thus invaded, voted the arrest of the 
member which was immediately carried into effect: the president of the 
assembly (alcalde the first vote in the Cabildo) which formed 12 members in 
the meeting wrote with the approbation of the Assembly, a letter to the 
Exec^ unfolding their objects & inviting the members to a friendly Confer- 
ence: to this the executive replied directing the assembly to act in conformity 
to the Cons" and not interfere in matters not relating to their dep*^. a warm 
discussion took place: one of the members, who had been one, of the 13 who 
composed the first assembly, which had elected the Executive said, there are 
five Citizens present who were my associates: I call on them to say whether 
when they gave their assent to the act of installation they considered they 
were signing an act & naming an executive to be superior in power to the 
assembly: Let the orig^. document or record be produced: it is in the archives 
of Gov'. Let it be examined & inform yourselves whether any such power 
as is now claimed by the executive was then granted them. I deny it: my 
associates deny it: surely six out of 13 are entitled to some credit: the Execu- 
tive urge that they have formed a constitution and that as it had been sworn 
to by the people it must be considered the guide of the assembly in their 
proceedings, was that constitution ever approved or submitted to the con- 
sideration even of any regular representation of the people : it was formed by 
the Executive in direct opposition to the tenor of the powers invested in 
them, & sworn to by a small number of the people, under the point of the 
bayonet, for the troops had sworn to defend it first. 

A note was then passed requesting the inspection of the document alluded 
to: the Executive returned for answer that it was not to be found: 

The Executive then finding, that in the Event of the supremacy of the 
assembly being establish^, and, that one of the members had moved that 
the people be called together, there would be an end of their power: and 
their measures strictly examined, determined to do away [with] the assembly 
without delay: three days previous to its meeting, it had been declared by 
public Bands death for any 3 persons to be found in the streets together 
during the scene of its sitting: availing themselves of this Law & perceiving 
the assembly which had opened at 8^™ & con^. in session until 7^™, had still 
the same objects in view, they sent an officer with the Copy of the Law & 
dissolved the assembly desiring the members to return to their houses under 
pain of incurring its penalties : also suspending the functions of the Cabildo ! ! ! ! 
this was an act of violence unknown to the people: unprecedented and 
created such general irritation that it was current that the members of the 
assembly would have been poignarded could they have been met with: the 
members separated, and tranquillity has since prevailed — 



DOCUMENT 193: APRIL 30, l8l2 325 

Puereydon was imm^'. written to by his friends, We hear he is now on 
the way down: Letters recvd a few days since from him stated that he had 
some hope of coming to an arrangement with Goyonche: & making peace 
the sudden retreat of the latter from Suypacha in consequence of another 
revolution of the Cochabambi means who had it is said attacked a division 
of his army (500) & routed them, had put an end to the discussions. 

Belgrano is now Comm"^ in chief in peru he is at 10 leagues from Jujui, his 
force is small, the hatred of the people of Peru to the Gov. of B As^ is almost 
as great as it was to that of the Old Sp^ and it will be difficult to appease 
their resentment: originating in the impolitic conduct of Castelli & the 
Govern m\ 

Paraguay continues tranquil: the people are very happy under the change: 
the Gov', is very popular, and affairs are approaching the crisis: independ- 
ence will be declared by them ere long: a copy of the constitution of the 
United States translated by the consul General whilst here: has been re- 
quested of me by the president of the Junta: 

The President of the Executive of this Gov: Don Manuel de Sarratea left 
B^ A®, this morning to join the army on the other side and direct its opera- 
tions, he precedes the Etat majeur: the chief of which will proceed from 
hence on Saturday: 600 Cavalry & 300 infantry regulars uniformed &c: left 
this with Sarratea, French's & Terrada's divisions have not yet joined 
Artigas: who has thought it prudent to retreat across the Uruguay, as the 
Portuguese had advanced rapidly: Several Garrisons have been left on the 
road, hence his whole regular force will hardly exceed: 4800 to 5500 men: 

The British Cons: General M. Staples has not been received by this Gov. 
he presented his patents which were returned to him with a letter stating 
that the B. Gov*^. had not addressed them an introductory letter or taken 
any notice of the many letters written to them: a long time since: The preju- 
dice ag^ the English is consequently very strong and has evinced itself in 
many acts of disgust & neglect: 

I had the honor of a letter from the Consul Gen^ under date 10 Ap. he 
mentions that the Troops of Conception were at the River Maule, but that 
there was reason to suppose an accommodation would take place as the 
president had left S. lago for that purpose: 

I have the honor [etc.]. 



326 PART II : COMMUNICATIONS FROM ARGENTINA 

194 

W. G. Miller, United States Consul at Buenos Aires, to James Monroe, Secre- 
tary oj State of the United States ^ 

Buenos Aires, July i6, 1812. 

Sir: I had the honor to address you on the 30 Ap.^ per the Aligator via 
Boston advising the meeting of the assembly and its dissolution by order of 
the Executive: 

On the 15 May the emergencies of Gover*^. compelled the Executive to 
resort to a contribution to be levied on the different classes. Gazette May 
15 Ult is as heavy as the city can possibly bear & evinces the scanty re- 
sources (exclusive of foreign duties) of the country: a national lottery has 
contributed 10,000 $ more. 

On the 19 May the deputies Saavedra & Aguirre arrived in the Liberty 
with a small supply of arms, magnified by the Agents of Gov*^. the friendly 
reception given to these gentlemen the general interest in the success and 
enthusiasm in favor of the Liberty of this country shewn by all classes, in the 
U S and the partial attainment of their object, has produced the effect ex- 
pected: the U. S. are looked up to as the only sincere friends of their cause 
not only by the Government but by the people : The deputies brot no packet 
for the Consul General. 

On the 22 May Puereydon took his seat in the Executive he appears to 
possess liberal sentiments, has frequently visited Europe, & has been a per- 
sonal sufferer for defending the cause of his country: having been imprisoned 
by the V. King Liniers & threatened with the scaffold in Spain: of his party 
are the most respectable & influential Creoles in the plan; Several of the 
members of the assembly are his particular associates: he could not conse- 
quently be ignorant of the conduct of the Executive: It was natural for him 
to recur to what had been done previous to his Election: he expressed his 
surprize at the measures that had been adopted, which did not appear to 
him calculated to advance the interest of the cause, he had personally wit- 
nessed the just resentment of the people in the Interior he enquired what 
steps had been taken to soothe the public mind & questioned the right of 
the Executive to dissolve the Assembly: that it was his own opinion and 
that of every well wisher of the cause that the proceeding was arbitrary 
unjust & subversive of the principles on which they had founded their sys- 
tem and tending to suffocate the little remaining enthusiasm of the people: 
that he would never submit to sanction by his name acts, (That tyrannized 
the will of the people & suffocated their rights) that it was his opinion, that 
an assembly should be immediately formed : the deputies to have full powers 
for whatever might occur: and that the first step of the assembly should be 
to decide on a suitable plan for the meeting of a general Congress, that it 
^ MS. Consular Letters, Buenos Aires, I. ^ See above, pt. 11, doc. 193. 



DOCUMENT 194: JULY 16, l8l2 327 

should not be B® A^ but one of the Interior towns: that the instant the As- 
sembly should meet, he would resign his functions, & submit his conduct to 
an examination: that no sincere patriot could wish to maintain an ofifice ag*^. 
the will of the people: Chiclana and Rivadavia immediately rejected this 
proposal, considering it as a personal attack on them to bring forwd. an 
enquiry into their conduct in respect to the first assembly: Puereydon tho 
warmly opposed by C & R^. effected his purpose: and Chiclana under plea of 
illness retired for a few days, from the presidency which he had reasumed tho 
by the Constitution it devolved on Puereydon: Letters were dispatched to 
the Cabildos of the Chief towns direct them to elect dep^. for the assembly, & 
that the most ample powers should be given to them: there is but little doubt 
that if the Civil Corps had not exceeded the troops an attm*^ would have been 
made to remove Puereydon from above Executive: 

On the 26** May a Lieutenant Colonel Don John Rademaker arrived as 
Envoy Extraordinary from the P. Regent of Brazil to this Government — he 
was received by an aide de Camp : of the Executive : the debout of this person- 
age his having left Rio immediately after the arrival of M"^. Staples who had 
sailed from hence via Rio for England some time previous much irritated at 
not being received as the Consul General of his B.M. in consequence of an 
informality in his Credentials, and the want of an introductory letter to the 
Government gave rise to many conjectures, and it was generally considered 
as the prelude of an intrigue between the B. Minister & Carlotta: the Gazette 
of the 10. July explains the object of his mission: the due fulfillment of the 
armistice on the part of the P. Regent was guarantied by the B. Minister. 
A copy thereof with an order to retreat was immediately sent to the General 
of the Portuguese. 

On the night of the 29 June information was communicated to the Execu- 
tive of the existence of a horrible conspiracy to upset the government 
massacre all the Chiefs of the revolution and all persons any way connected 
with the patriots: the conspirators were headed by Dn Juan Martyn Alsega 
a man of the first respectability, but turbulent & ambitious, noted for his 
cruelty & marked detestation of the Creoles: he was to have been the V.K.: 
a slave indirectly heard the substance of the plot and disclosed it to his 
master: the same day, Rademaker called on one of the members of the 
Gov\ and stated to him, that it would be prudent in the Executive to be 
on the alert, that they were in a critical situation and surrounded by enemies: 
It appears that Alsega called on him & presented a paper signed by 48 
individuals offering him i million dollars to restrain by a countermanding 
order the retreat of the Portuguese troops: to this proposition, he made no 
other reply than burning the paper and dismissing him: the necessary 
precautions were taken by the Government who doubted the truth of 
the communications: but on the accusation of the slave arrested several 
persons: of these, there were two who instantly confessed the conspiracy: 



328 PART II : COMMUNICATIONS FROM ARGENTINA 

the one a confidential agent of Alsegas & the other a son in law as they would 
not disclose the place of concealment of Alsegas (who had fled on hearing of 
their arrest): they were shot: their dying confession fully developed the 
plan for a particular detail of which I beg leave to refer you to the Gazette: 
On them were found papers which implicated many persons of respectability 
& wealth, who were also arrested: from the declaration of one of the con- 
demned Alsegas' retreat was discovered and capture effected: he acknowl- 
edged his signature to a paper binding himself & others to secresy &c: he 
died with the firmness & heroism becoming the Chief of a conspiracy as 
bloody and as horrible as could possibly have been formed by man: 

Alsega was by birth a Biscayan, arrived in this country at an early age 
where he has acquired a large fortune: in the year 93 [?] he was instrumental 
in seizing a number of frenchmen resident in B^ A^ & subjecting them to the 
torture: Antoneius an Italian now resident in Philad was also a victim: his 
energy originated the vigorous measures adopted by the Cabildo in [blank] 
for repelling the attack of the B. Troops under Whitelocke: On the i Jan'y 
1809 (Liniers being then V.K.) he headed a conspiracy of European Span- 
iards to expell the V.K. and declare independence: he escaped. His parti- 
zans say accomplices, were imprisoned: It is little doubted but that he would 
have been a strenuous supporter of the independence of this Country if it 
could have been effected by European Sp^. the idea of subjection to Creole 
Gov. few old Spaniards could or can yet brook: 

17 persons have been executed amongst others the second in command a 
Bethlemite monk: to have been a Colonel of Cavalry: Santhonac: a Catalan: 
who gave the plan of attack and was have been Commandante of arms, & 
General: formally a colonel of artillery imprisoned by Liniers as an accom- 
plice of Alsega's in the revolution before mentioned: released by the Junta & 
appointed principal of the Mathematical School with a salary of 2000$ 
500$ more than any of the Members of Gov. receive: Tellichea a wealthy 
merchant & of respectability: returned 5 mo^. since from Banishment by 
permission of the Executive. 

There can be but little doubt that the conspiracy would have succeeded 
for the time: the plan was admirably well laid: the confession of the monk 
in reply to the question "who are immediately interested" Vv^as from N to S. 
from E to W not an Old Sp"^. would have been wanting: that there was 
force sufficient for the Enterprize: that all were armed in one way or other. 

Exclusive of the assistance of the MVideans it appears they were well 
assured of the ultimate success of the Portuguese troops, the correspondence 
of the minister of the United S. at Rio J° will have communicated the 
dissensions and oppositions of the interests of the P. & Princess: Rademaker 
was the agent of the Prince & Souza the partizan of the princess & disposed 
to meet her views That Carlotta was the prime mover of the Conspiracy is 
the general opinion, and as she had hitherto directed the movements of the 



DOCUMENT 194: JULY 16, l8l2 329 

army, had availed herself of this power to influence plot: Rademaker had 
directed three different letters to the general Sousa ordering the retreat of 
army: to the last he received the reply of the general that he dare not move: 
who also enclosed copy of an order from Carlotta forbidding him to retreat 
but remain and in the event of being called on by Alsega to give every aid 
in his power: 

The extreme moderation of the Creoles who notwithstanding the fer- 
ment the bloody intentions of the Spaniards had given rise to, have not 
committed a single excess, the vigor of government in arresting all persons 
denounced & punishing on conviction only the heads of the conspiracy & 
permitting the families of the convicted to enjoy in peace the property will 
tend to gain the cause many friends & establish the system. 

The gazettes give a correct statement of the situation of affairs in Peru: 
the defeat of the cochabambinos is not likely to produce any effect of 
consequence. 

Paraguay has been invited to send deputies to the assembly: in which 
B' A^ will have live members: 

The Naval force of this government is now much reduc'd, by the capture 
of the Ketch in a bay on the coast of Patagonia, thro' y^ treachery of the 
Governor of a settlement to whom the Commandante was directed to 
deliver in person a packet he fell into the snare and the crew were gradually 
seduc'd on shore until there remained only twenty on board when she was 
carried by two boats, & sent to MV. the addition of this vessel to the MV°, 
Squadron makes their force fully competent to annoy the trade of this river, 
any moment they feel so disposed: 

There are now 1800 musquets in town, & the gov*^. has not the funds to 
send and purchase more : the Creoles are generally of very moderate fortune : 
there are not ten Creoles in B^ A^. who are worth 80000$ each : how they are 
to obtain arms is a query: there are only five vessels in this place owned by 
Creoles: Silver has become very scarce as the mines of Potosi are no longer 
worked: the only supply that can be expected must come from Chili in which 
kingdom it seems they have lately discovered and are working with activity 
two very rich mines. 

The commerce of the US. to this port for the last six months has been 
very trifling seven vessels with cargoes consisting % of German goods % 
of native articles such as lumber, fish, rice, cordage, butter sperm: candles, 
boots shoes, saddlery, furniture, hats Windsor chairs, porter cider rum, gin, 
paper, & naval stores the unsettled state of the country intimidates specula- 
tors: the presence of a national ship would give security to the American 
trade in the River which would immediately encrease: a considerably greater 
respect & security to our Citizens and be highly flattering to the government 
& people: as it would have the appearance of protection and attention to 
their interests tho in fact be protecting our own: had the threatened revolu- 



330 PART II : COMMUNICATIONS FROM ARGENTINA 

tion succeeded not an american in the place would have escaped the fear of 
immediate retaliation would have impeded any attempt on them, if a 
frigate had been in the river. 
I have the honor [etc.]. 

P.S. The assembly will meet in August and it is generally said Puereydon 
will be elected president and form an executive with three secretaries: the 
continual divisions of a multiplied executive have disgusted the true friends 
of the cause: Independence will not be declared, as far as it is in my power 
to judge from the ideas expressed by the various members of gover^ & 
the assembly untill the fall of MV, which is rendered problematical by the 
vigorous exertions made for a determined resis^. or unless an unexpected 
supply of arms should arrive in which case the congress (the members from 
which are to be elected the ensuing month) will immediately throw off the 
mask: the hastiness of some of the patriots of B^ A^. may however force a 
declaration from the executive, by the people of B® A®, alone under the 
impression that it will be followed by the other provinces. 

With Consideration [etc.]. 



195 

W. G. Miller, United States Consul at Buenos Aires, to James Monroe, Secre- 
tary of State of the United States^ 

[extract] 

Buenos Aires, August lo, 1812. 

Sir: On the 6 [16?] Ultimo^ I had the honor to address you advising the 
happy escape of the patriots from a diabolical conspiracy fomented by the 
Intrigues of Carlotta: as my letter was duplicated I do not deem the contents 
of the letter of sufficient moment to forw^. a third per dubious conveyance: 
Much less so when the gazettes which contain a very fair statement of the 
facts accompany the present. 

The idea expressed in the last paragraph of the letter alluded to respecting 
the probable hastiness of some of the patriots to force a declaration from the 
Gov. of Independence had nearly been realized Several of the Cofifee house 
politicians endeavored to inflame the minds of the Citizens, against the 
Gov. for issuing a general amnesty to all who would come forward and deliver 
up any arms that might be held by them: Gov. issued the second proclama- 
tion: (See gazettes) this did not suffice to allay the ferment: an immediate 
declaration of indep^ was insisted on and the banishment of all the Euro- 

^ MS. Consular Letters, Buenos Aires, I. ^ ggg above, pt. n, doc. 194. 



DOCUMENT 196: AUGUST 18, l8l2 33I 

peans: the windows of Chiclana's house were broken: at night the disturbers 
of the public peace retired to their houses: they were immediately arrested 
by the Secretary of Gov and sent off to the army the ensuing morning in 
number about 20: tranquillity has since reigned: The executions have not 
yet stopt : 29 have been shot : 4 others are under sentence of death as accom- 
plices in the consp of 4 July. 



196 

W. G. Miller, United States Consul at Buenos Aires, to James Monroe, Secre- 
tary of State of the United States 

Buenos Aires, August 18, 1812} 

Sir: I have the honor to foi-ward you a packet from the Consul Gen- 
eral, — The ideas expressed in my P.S.- had nearly been realised: Several 
hot headed patriots attempted to force the Gov"^. into a declaration of 
Independence and the further punishment of the persons compromised in 
the Conspiracy: the proclamation issued on the 26 July explanatory of that 
of the 24 will evince, the indisposition of the Gov. to meet the bill of the 
People: it did not satisfy the hotheaded: they were permitted to rave until 
night and were then arrested & banished in number 22 to the army the ens^ 
morning. 

The assembly it is said will meet on the 27^. Ins: It is feared that Chiclana 
& Rivadavia will attempt to impede the meeting, and that a disturbance 
will be the consequence. 

Goyonchi has again reassembled his troops at Suypacha, with the intention 
of coming on to Salta. The Com. in Chief Belgranno has issued a proc- 
lamation for all persons to remove from Jujui: he writes in very flattering 
terms of the State of his little army: the Baron Hollenbrugh writes that they 
can make a good resistance: they have only two thousand men to oppose 4 or 
5000 — The Intelligence from the army on the opposite shore is not very 
flatt^. Divisions between the Chiefs threaten a sad disappointment of the 
hopes enter^ by the patriots Artigas it is currently reported had withdrawn 
from the army. 

Should Goyonchi advance rapidly and be successful & not declare for the 
Independence of the Country the situation of things will become very 
critical. It is to be hoped his views are personal: — 

I am [etc.]. . 

' MS. Consular Letters, Buenos Aires, I. 

* See above, pt. n, doc. 194, Miller to the Secretary of State, July 16, 1812. 



332 PART II : COMMUNICATIONS FROM ARGENTINA 

197 

The Constituted Assembly of the United Provinces oj the Rio de la Plata to James 
Madison, President of the United States^ 

[translation] 

Fortress of Buenos Aires, July 21, 1813. 

Sir: Since the voice of Liberty has resounded throughout the extensive 
Territories of Rio de la Plata, men accustomed to calculate events, justly 
flattered themselves, that the great People of the United States of America, 
would never be indifferent to the emancipation and prosperity of these 
Colonies. Engaged in the same career which was so gloriously terminated 
by yourselves, the identity of interests and reciprocity of relations being 
naturally cemented, give grounds to hope for your early protection, more 
especially as the other powers are almost exclusively occupied in the ruinous 
Continental War, each of which supports in its turn, and under distinct 
forms, European tyranny and ambitions. 

Unfortunately the vacillations and uncertainty, the unavoidable accom- 
paniment of a transition from one form of government to another, in a 
People who have been for a long time enslaved, have equally operated in 
these Provinces and prevented them from pursuing the proper course for the 
establishment of direct relations with Your Government, to which a new 
obstacle has been added, by the recent rupture between the U. States and 
England, which may embarrass and frustrate the best intentions. 

But at length the Love of Liberty, surmounting all obstacles, has tri- 
umphed over its Enemies, and after a constant series of victories, has sub- 
stituted good order, which will ensure the result of our glorious Revolution. 
The constituted assembly of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, and the 
Executive Power being founded on a basis no less firm than liberal, and 
every thing conspiring to the maintenance of the great cause, which duty 
supports against the impious doctrine of those who advocate a submission 
to the prescription and exclusive interests of Kings, will finish their great 
work by a Declaration of the Independence of this Hemisphere. 

Under such fortunate circumstances this Government has the Honour to 
felicitate Your Excellency on your installation, and to tender thro' Your 
Ex'^^., to The Honourable The American Congress, its most high respect and 
sentiments of friendship. 

The dispositions arising from an analogy of political principles, and the 
indubitable characters of a National sympathy, ought to open the road to a 
fraternal alliance, which should unite forever the North and South Americans, 
by adopting in the Congress of the United States and the Constituted As- 
sembly of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, the basis of social benefi- 

^ MS. Notes from Argentine Legation, I. 



DOCUMENT 198: AUGUST I, 1813 333 

cence in all its extent, in order to demonstrate by its effects, that between 
the Governments of the two Americas, there does not exist those fatal 
distinctions which separate political morality, nor those artificial manoeu- 
vres which deform the Cabinets of the Old World. 
I pray Your Excellency to accept [etc.]. 



198 

IF. G. Miller, United States Consul at Buenos Aires, to James Monroe, Secre- 
tary of State of the United States ^ 

Buenos Aires, August i, 1813. 

Sir: I have since writing the preceding with a view to correct any false 
impressions its perusal might give rise started the question with several of 
the members of the Executive & Assembly: respecting their intentions: 

I am positively assured Sir, that on the estb* of a cons", it will {sic) formed 
on the base of one Indivisible Republic of which W A^. will be the Capital 
"Sooner death than a Confederation for this Country in its present state of 
ignorance & barbarism: said one the most influential members: Our prov- 
inces are extended: our people poor: our ignorance great and hence it is that 
B^. A^. & her Capitalists only have hitherto borne all the expense of this 
Revolution: which has now cost her $16,500,000 d'^^ Can the people of the 
Interior say we have as yet received from them any thing like a tenth part of 
their proportion of this enormous expense — The Troops are fed by us: 
the powder balls cloathing found by us: what have they hitherto furnished 
us more than cattle & recruits. Such Sir are the arg*^. in favor of an Ind. 
Republic. 2 centuries to come our descendents will talk of a Confederation: 
Until then we must content ourselves preparing the minds of our people & 
leave it to our posterity to profit by the example Your Country has given 
us. The Confederation destroy'd Carraccas and tho so Jtear Your Country 
her Independence is gone. 

I have Sir given you the ideas as they were commun*^. to me this morning 
& without any comment, have the honor to renew [etc.]. 

* MS. Consular Letters, Buenos Aires, I. 



334 PART II : COMMUNICATIONS FROM ARGENTINA 

199 

Gervasio Antonio de Posadas, Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the 
Rio de la Plata, to James Madison, President of the United States^ 

Buenos Aires, March g, 1814. 

Most Excellent Sir: The Supreme Assembly of the United Provinces 
has conferred on me the Supreme Direction of the State; and I do myself an 
honor in communicating it^ to you, together with the public papers which 
contain the decree of the Sovereign body. The United Provinces of Rio 
de la Plata aspire to a close and intimate relation with the United States; 
and it would give me a pleasure if you, according to the known generosity 
of your character, would permit me to communicate to them the wishes of 
my countrymen. It gives me great pleasure to have the present opportunity 
of communicating to you my respects, and most anxious solicitude for a 
friendly alliance. 

God keep your Excellency many years. 



200 

Gervasio Antonio de Posadas, Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the 
Rio de la Plata, to James Madison, President of the United States^ 

Buenos Aires, March g, 1814. 

Most Excellent Sir: Ever since Spanish America began to struggle for 
their independence, the Republic of the United States has manifested a de- 
sire to favor their glorious enterprize; and it may be that distance has pre- 
vented them from giving us such succor as would ere now have ended our 
fatigues. But left to ourselves, we have made every exertion that honor and 
patriotism command; and notwithstanding the indefatigable & oppressive 
conduct of our enemies, this precious part of the New World still retains its 
freedom. At the period when our independence was about to be confirmed, 
the extraordinary victories of the Allied Powers of Europe again deranged 
our affairs. The victories of the North, which obliged France to cease op- 
pressing Spain, may enable our enemies, with the assistance of Great Britain, 
to injure our cause, if some powerful arm does not volunteer her aid. Though 
humanity and justice are interested in the sacred cause defended by South 
America, four years of experience have taught this people, that it is not for 
the interest of the Potentates of Europe to favor the independence of the 

^ MS. Consular Letters, Buenos Aires, I. 

^ See the following document, which bears this same date, address, and signature. 
' MS. Consular Letters, Buenos Aires, L A copy of the same is also found in Notes from 
the Argentine Legation. 



DOCUMENT 201: JUNE I4, 1814 335 

colonies. Hitherto the greatness of the powers of Europe has been founded 
on our degradation. Perhaps the preponderance we should give to your 
influence in the commercial world has not a little influence. It is on you 
we place our present hopes, who have the happiness to govern the only free 
people in the world, whose philosophic & patriotic sentiments we are am- 
bitious to imitate. I am sensible the war, in which you are at present en- 
gaged, will prevent your giving us that immediate aid that would end our 
troubles. The people of this country can as yet support their cause with 
dignity, could they procure a supply of arms & ammunitions. Your Ex- 
cellency cannot fail of being able to afford us these supplies; and our prompt 
and ready payment cannot be doubted. Your Excellency may be assured 
that the Provinces of Rio de la Plata will not be ungrateful for such a relief, 
and will be ready to engage in any treaties of commerce that will be advan- 
tageous to the United States. The interest that the inhabitants of said 
States have generally felt for the success of our cause, convinces me of the 
happy result of this request. And I will thank your Excellency to take the 
first opportunity to honor me with an answer. 
God keep your Excellency many years